Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Rattan : Description and Uses


Rattan, also spelled ratan, is the name for roughly 600 species of Old World climbing palms belonging to subfamily Calamoideae. The greatest diversity of rattan palm species and genera are in the closed-canopy old-growth tropical forests of Southeast Asia, though they can also be found in other parts of tropical Asia and Africa. Most rattan palms are ecologically considered lianas due to their climbing habits, unlike other palm species. A few species also have tree-like or shrub-like habits.

Around 20% of rattan palm species are economically important and are traditionally used in Southeast Asia in producing wickerwork furniture, baskets, canes, woven mats, cordage, and other handicrafts. Rattan canes are one of the world's most valuable non-timber forest products. Some species of rattan also have edible scaly fruit and heart of palm. Despite increasing attempts in the last 30 years at commercial cultivation, almost all rattan products still come from wild-harvested plants. Rattan supplies are now rapidly threatened due to deforestation and overexploitation. Rattan were also historically known as Malacca cane or Manila cane, based on their trade origins, as well as numerous other trade names for individual species.

Close-up of the edible scaly fruits and the spiny stem of Calamus rotang in Thailand

Most rattan palms are classified ecologically as lianas, because most mature rattan palms have a vine-like habit, scrambling through and over other vegetation. But they differ from true woody lianas in several ways. Because rattans are palms, they do not branch and they rarely develop new root structures upon contact of the stem with soil. They are also monocots and thus do not exhibit secondary growth. This means, the diameter of the rattan stem is always constant. The width of juvenile rattan palms is the same as adult palms, usually around 2–5 centimetres (3⁄4–2 inches) in diameter, with long internodes between the leaves. This also means juvenile rattan palms are rigid enough to remain free-standing, unlike true lianas which always need structural support, even when young. Many rattans also have spines which act as hooks to aid climbing over other plants, and to deter herbivores. The spines also give rattans the ability to climb wide-diameter trees, unlike other vines which use tendrils or twining which can only climb narrower supports. Rattans have been known to grow up to hundreds of metres long.

Base of a clustering rattan palm in Sulawesi, Indonesia

A few species of rattans are non-climbing. These range from free-standing tree-like species (like Retispatha dumetosa) to acaulescent shrub-like species with short subterranean stems (like Calamus pygmaeus).

Rattans can also be solitary (single-stemmed), clustering (clump-forming), or both. Solitary rattan species grow into a single stem. Clustering rattan, on the other hand, develop clumps of up to 50 stems via suckers, similar to bamboo and bananas. These clusters can produce new stems continually as individual stems die. The impact of harvesting is much greater in solitary species, since the whole plant dies when harvested. An example of a commercially important single-stemmed species is Calamus manan. Clustering species, on the other hand, have more potential to become sustainable if the rate of harvesting does not exceed the rate of stem replacement via vegetative reproduction.

Rattans also display two types of flowering: hapaxanthy and pleonanthy. All the species of the genera Korthalsia, Laccosperma, Plectocomia, Plectocomiopsis, and Myrialepis are hapaxanthic; as well as a few species of Daemonorops. This means they only flower and fruit once then die. All other rattan species are pleonanthic, being able to flower and fruit continually. Most commercially harvested species are pleonanthic, because hapaxanthic rattans tend to have soft piths making them unsuitable for bending. Source : Here

Characteristics of Rattan Wood in Indonesia

There are about 50 types of rattan which are commercial, while about 250 species are still researched. Indonesia is the largest rattan producing country in the world. As an export commodity, rattan from Indonesia fills about 80% of the world’s raw material needs. This means that rattan has a very high economic value in international trade.Indonesia has more than 300 types of rattan, but only about 51 species are known to the world and are commercial. Many people think that rattan is the same as bamboo, even though these two plants have their own unique characteristics. Here are the characteristics of rattan plants in Indonesia so you can distinguish them from bamboo.

How to Grow

Rattan is a plant that grows by spreading or vine from the inside to the ground. The stems of rattan plant that appeared on the ground began to wrap around the surrounding trees. How to grow rattan is certainly different from bamboo which is not a vine.


Rattan rods are slender with a diameter of 2-5 cm, have many long segments and not hollow. It has no cavities which causes rattan not to break easily like bamboo sticks. Rattan rods can up to hundreds of meters length and can release water when you cut it. Rattan rods are protected by long, sharp, and hard spines. In addition to functioning as a means of self-protection, these thorns are useful when rattan climbs into the surrounding trees. Meanwhile, bamboo is protected by soft hairy midrib that itch and will fall out when this plant is sturdy and old.
Source : Here

5 Rattan Crafts Areas in Indonesia

Many areas in Indonesia are known as artisan areas. The handicrafts produced are also varied, ranging from pottery to making puppets. Many of these crafts are exported abroad or sold domestically. One type of craft that is well known by the public at home and abroad is rattan craft.

Rattan crafts use rattan plants (vines from the Palmae family) as the main material. This type of plant is commonly found in Indonesia forests. Initially, the rattan plant was only used as rope material. However, now rattan is used to make various handicrafts and furniture. There are many areas in Indonesia that part of rattan craftsman area. Which area is it?


Cirebon, West Java is one of the centers of rattan industry in Indonesia. It is estimated that there are more than 900 business units of rattan craftsmen in Cirebon City. Rattan handicrafts that often produced in Cirebon are furniture. Many of these handicrafts are sold domestically and exported abroad. One of the villages in Cirebon which is known for its rattan crafts is Tegalwangi Village, Weru, Cirebon, West Java.


Jepara, Central Java, is not only known for its worldwide carving crafts. Jepara is also known for its rattan crafts. Even Jepara is included in one of the largest rattan craft centers in Indonesia. Telukwetan Village, Welahan, Jepara is one of the centers for rattan craftsmen in Indonesia. The rattan furniture, such as chairs or sofas, souvenirs and so on.


Trangsan Village, Gatak, Sukoharjo, Central Java is one of the villages of rattan furniture exporters in Indonesia. The handicrafts are furniture made from rattan. Usually these crafts are exported to various major countries, such as the United States, Europe, Australia, South Korea and other countries. In addition to making furniture, many people of Trangsan Village also produce baby swings, fruit baskets, room dividers, waste baskets, and others.

Central Kalimantan

Katingan, Central Kalimantan is one of the largest rattan-producing centers in Indonesia. Rattan handicrafts from Katingan are almost the same as other areas. The difference lies in the Katingan rattan craft motif which is took Dayak elements. Rattan handicrafts from Katingan for example tables, bags, baskets, chairs, room dividers, and others. This craft is also widely sent to various regions in Indonesia and exported to foreign countries.


Wukirsari Village, Bantul, Yogyakarta is also known as an area for rattan craftsmen in Indonesia. Rattan handicrafts in Wukirsari Village are more focused on handmade products such as bags, souvenirs,baskets and others. Many of these rattan handicrafts are sent to various regions in Indonesia and exported abroad, such as Japan, Iraq and Iran.

Source : Here

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Stories Behind 7 Most Popular Batik Designs


When you travel to Indonesia, chances are you’ll come across batik, one of the country’s most ancient art forms. Commonly found on fabric or cloth, batik patterns have also been incorporated into numerous handicrafts like handmade purses, coin bags, and even wooden bracelets!

If perceived through etymology, the word “batik” came from two Javanese words “amba”, which means broad, and the term “matik”, which means the making of dots. Hence, batik is a textile that uses wax and dyes to create dots widely arranged in stunning patterns and designs.

It’s impossible not to spot batik patterns on your visit to Indonesia. So here are the stories behind 7 most popular batik designs :

 1. Kawung: A Pattern of Areca Palm Trees

Developed in the 18th century, during the Yogyakarta Sultanate, kawung was considered a favorite among the royal families of the Sultanate. Its geometrical patterns represent the fruit of an areca palm tree. In Indonesian, these fruits are called kolang kaling, a delicacy mostly enjoyed during Ramadan. Legend has it that the royal family of Yogyakarta Sultanate loved kawung so much that only those having the royal bloodline were allowed to wear it.

2. Parang: A Symbol of Security

Another geometric batik pattern is parang, which has long, narrow symbols similar to a sword or the letter “S”. This sacred batik originated in the 16th century, in Central Java, during the reign of Sultan Agung of Mataram. It is said that Danang Sutawijaya, the son of Ki Ageng Pemanahan, created parang while observing a stretch of jagged rocks on the south coast. There’s also Indonesian folklore about a Javanese Prince named Panji, who was protected because he was wearing parang batik. This is why many Javanese people regard parang as a symbol of protection and security.

3. Sekar Jagad: An Expression of Love

Sekar jagad can be traced back to the 18th century. It got its name from the Dutch word “kar”, which means “a map”, and the Javanese term “jagad”, which means “the world”. The word sekar also means “flowers” in Indonesian. Hence, sekar jagad represents the beauty of Indonesia’s diversity. Conveying love and happiness, the fresh and vibrant colors of its floral patterns make it the perfect choice for the bride and groom dresses.

4. Truntum: A Gift from a Queen

Truntum, a popular type of batik from Solo, was created by Kanjeng Ratu Kencana, the daughter of Sunan Pakubuwana III. People believe that the Queen, saddened by the King’s infidelity, made these star patterns while gazing at the night sky. Impressed by the motif, the King admired his wife‘s diligence. His love for the Queen rekindled and he reconciled with her. This legend popularized truntum as a symbol of reawakened love, making it a favorite among brides and grooms.

5. Ulamsari Mas: A Symbol of Well-Being

Originating from Bali, Ulamsari mas illustrates vivid motifs with images of shrimp and fish. Fishing is one of the livelihoods of the Balinese people as the island is surrounded by rich marine life. Bali created this batik to show their appreciation of the island's natural resources of fish, seafood, and raw materials. Hence, Ulamsari mas patterns depict the livelihood and prosperity of the Balinese people.

6. Buketan: A Gorgeous Bouquet

Does the name sound familiar? It’s probably because the word “buketan” came from the Dutch word “boeket”, which means “bouquet” in English. Unlike the other types of batik mentioned above, buketan, developed in Pekalongan of Central Java, was heavily influenced by the Dutch as it was created by Eliza van Zuylen, a Dutch designer, who merged Javanese motifs with Art Nouveau patterns. It is said that she would arrange dried-flower cutouts on a piece of paper and transform them into batik patterns, creating an image of the actual bouquet.

According to the book Fabric of Enchantment, buketan’s original motif was that of an asymmetrical tree with birds. However, around 1910, it changed to a stunning bouquet.

 7. Lawang Sewu: A Thousand Doors

Even though Lawang Sewu is a popular landmark in Semarang, it is also a well-recognized type of batik. In Java, the term “lawang sewu” means “a thousand doors”. This type of batik was inspired by war, The Battle of Semarang or better known as Pertempuran Lima Hari (Five Days’ Battle) in Indonesian. This lasted from 15th October - 20th October 1945, between Semarang heroes and Japanese soldiers at Tugu Muda, near Lawang Sewu. This batik motif represents the famous landmark complemented with the symbols of nature, like flowers, butterflies, and trees.

Based on the simple method of wax-resist dyeing, batik is a traditional art with a special meaning behind each type of pattern. To this very day, Indonesians commemorate this iconic heritage every year on Batik Day on 2nd October. It marks a time to celebrate the beauty of batik, its origins, and the communities that have been crafting these patterns since ages.  

So, are you interested in collecting some beautiful batik??

Source : Here

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Indonesian Arts and Crafts

One of the many pleasures of living in Indonesia is having the opportunity to learn about and collect Indonesian arts and handicrafts. The diversity evident in Indonesia's 300 plus ethnic groups is reflected in the diversity of its art forms. Just as every ethnic group throughout the archipelago has its own language/dialect, cuisine, traditional dress and traditional homes and they have also developed their own textiles, ornaments, carvings and items for daily use and special celebrations. The rich cultural heritage of art and handicrafts is one of Indonesia's true national riches.

Indonesian art forms can include designs traced back to early animistic beliefs, ancestor worship, Hindu or Buddhist influenced motifs brought by Indian traders, Chinese or Islamic symbols and beliefs. Foreign influence on Indonesian art forms was brought about by centuries of exposure to other cultures through trade. Immigrants from China, India, the Arab world and later Europe traveled to the archipelago in search of the unique spices grown in Indonesia. These traders settled and brought with them rich artistic traditions which influenced the development of local art.

Today we can see highly developed art forms wherever these artisans had patrons in centuries past. One of the places where this is perhaps most evident is in Yogyakarta where the Sultan's family has supported batik, silver, wayang and other artisans for generations. With this patronage the art forms flourished, resulting in a rich variety of art forms today.

The rich artistic traditions of Bali, where traditionally each person must develop skills in a particular art form - be it dance, music, or visual arts has lead to the creation of a vibrant artistic community. Foreign artists have been drawn to Bali for centuries due to this unique cultural synergy.

Handicrafts also developed from the usage of every day household items which were decorated and used for ceremonial purposes. Witness the wide variety of uses of natural woods, fibers, bamboo, rattan and grasses. Natural and chemical dyes, beads and other natural ornamentation are used to decorate these items, many of which have developed over time into distinctive art forms.

Many expats take advantage of the opportunity of living in Indonesia to learn more about its culture, or to begin a collection of art objects or handicrafts that they enjoy. We go through early days of explorations, through the thrills of discovery and learning, to hunting down particular items you want and acquiring true finds.

Often expats are able to acquire things in Indonesia that they wouldn't have been able to afford at home where import duties and retail mark-ups make the prices skyrocket. In addition, the purchase of various handicrafts is often associated with special memories . wonderful memories of vacations, the artisan and the fun of searching for the right piece.

With the rupiah exchange rate so favorable against most foreign currencies - great bargains are to be found in Indonesia! Visit either Sarinah Jaya or Pasaraya in Jakarta for a good introduction to Indonesian handicrafts, though don't expect to find true antiques there. Then you'll know better what you may want to purchase on your travels through the archipelago.

If you develop a love for a particular item, seek out others who share your new hobby/collecting and learn the history of the items together. Expats who fall in love with a particular art form may even plan their travel through the archipelago around their special interest, tracking down and viewing the making of the items in their places of origin.

Museums in Jakarta and in other major cities display priceless artifacts from Indonesia's vibrant history. Join a tour at the National Museum, visit the Textile or Keris museum and you will quickly discover the rich cultural heritage of Indonesian art. While at the Museum Nasional, pick up a copy of the National Museum Guidebook, published by the Indonesian Heritage Society for an excellent introduction to the collection.

Provincial specialties

A few months after beginning your exploration of the various Indonesian art forms, certain provinces will soon take on character all their own through the art forms you association with them ... Javanese batik, Balinese carvings, Kalimantan baby bak, Malukan pearls, Bugis silk sarong, Lombok pottery, Dayak blow guns, Sumba ikat and more. Your travels throughout Indonesia will be enriched by your exposure to the development of different art forms in each province.


Indonesian art forms are rich in symbolism. The mythical naga or dragon; the mamuli pendant - symbol of fertility from Sumba, the tree of life, the mythological beast Garuda (also a national symbol found on the Panca SilaGaruda Carvingsymbol), all have special meanings in Indonesian traditions, myths and beliefs. Exploring the origins of these designs and what they mean is fascinating.

The war between good and evil, ancient stories of love and warfare, nature and the heavens - all have special meanings to Indonesians throughout the archipelago. Gods, demons and knights abound in Balinese carvings and in other areas where Hindu influence predominated at some point in history. Plants, animals (mythological and real) and geometric forms are also widely used and represent specific meanings in particular art forms.

Certain motifs were favored and even restricted to the royal families, especially in batik designs for the Surakarta and Yogyakarta royal families (one of which is called the broken keris). These symbols depicted simple, natural design objects that were important to the lives of Javanese, such as the leaves of the aren palm or the fruit from the kapok tree. Traditional colors of navy blue, cream, brown and black used in batik have given way to a myriad of colors utilizing modern imported dyes.

Handicrafts and art objects range from every day items which are unique to Indonesia, to one-of-a-kind collector's items, with a very wide range in between. What you will buy and/or collect depends of course on what you like. To introduce you briefly to the wide range of items available we've covered some of the more popular below:


"The diversity in Indonesian textile forms is astounding and is yet another representation of its rich cultural. Indonesian textiles include hand drawn and stamped batik, the design of which takes months to create; double weave ikat from the islands of Nusa Tenggara , ship cloth from Lampung, silk Bugis sarong from Sulawesi, gold-painted Balinese prada fabric; shimmering kain songket from Palembang utilizing silver and gold metallic threads weft in woven cotton or silk ikat; and Tapis weavings from Lampung.

Weavings from the 27 provinces utilize different materials, methods, colors and designs. Primarily formed on back looms, weeks or months are spent creating intricate designs for everyday use or ceremonial wear. These weavings are primarily known by the different techniques that are used to create the distinctive designs.

The symbolism of the various ethnic groups is evident in the variety of textiles. Color, shapes and their arrangements all have special meanings. Certain designs can only be worn by women or men, or only by the royal family or nobility.

Special textiles are worn or exchanged in life cycle or rights of passage ceremonies celebrating birth, circumcision, puberty, marriage, childbearing and death. Textiles play an important role in many traditional events and ceremonies.

Written records dating to the fourteenth century document the importance of textiles in the social and religious lives of Indonesians. The highly distinctive traditional dress, or pakaian adat, best shows the diversity of uses of textiles throughout the archipelago. The even more elaborate bridal dress displays the best of each province's textile and ornamental jewelry traditions.

Wayang -- Puppets

Puppets have been used for centuries in Indonesia to tell the stories of the ancient epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabarata, as well as ancient myths. Modern stories also utilize this ancient art form for contemporary audiences.

Puppets fall into two major classifications - wayang kulit - the leather or shadow puppet of Central Java, and wayang golek - wooden puppets of West Java. There are several varieties of wooden puppets. Some expats enjoy collecting the same character by various artisans, or all the characters in a scene or story, or just characters that strike their fancy. Good guys, bad guys, gods, demons, nobles, giants, clowns, princes and princesses and monkeys ... all can be found in traditional puppet forms. Less commonly seen are the Wayang Klitik, a flat wooden puppet

Traditional Toys and Games

The congklak, or dakon board game was brought to Indonesia by Indian or Arab traders centuries ago. Made from plastic or wood, or highly carved by court artisans, this game has been played in Indonesia for centuries. Examples of early congklak board can be found in the National Museum.

Traditional toys can be found throughout the archipelago and forays into the provinces will undoubtedly turn up many simple toys made by villagers for their children. These can be purchased at local pasar, roadside stands or near popular tourist destinations.


Ceramics made their way to Indonesia over centuries of trade with China dating back to 205 BC. Ceramic items range from everyday common vessels and plates, to fine ceramic pieces that became heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.

More affordable, and yet just as beautiful is jewelry made from antique ceramic shards discovered in port cities throughout the archipelago. While formerly these broken dishes served as ballast in ships from China, modern artisans have turned these broken ceramic pieces into beautiful jewelry and other useful items.

Contemporary ceramic design can be found in a wide range of useful household items. Lombok pottery in particular is popular with expats. The intricate terra-cotta pottery made in the village of Kasongan near Yogyakarta is also a favorite of many.

Natural fibers and materials

A wide range of items, both useful and decorative are made from natural fibers such as pandanus, rattan, bamboo and grasses. Rice spoons, bowls, containers, woven mats, baskets, lamp shades, boxes, natural paper products and a multitude of other items are made from natural fibers in Indonesia.

Bamboo, while exotic in the west, is one of the most practical natural plants. The uses of bamboo in Indonesia are numerous and Indonesians utilize bamboo extensively for a variety of items including baskets, winnows, cups, buckets, furniture and woven walls in traditional homes. The fine strands used for fans, purses, bags, hats, baskets and other items. Larger, thick strips are used for flower baskets, walls and other items. While bamboo was originally used for practical items around the house, these have been further developed into new items which sell well as souvenirs.

Bone, rubber, coconut shell, fibers, horn and other natural materials are used in many folk handicrafts from blow pipes, figurines, bags, storage items, painted umbrellas, and even ships made entirely from cloves.


Shells are used by Indonesian artisans to create a wide variety of useful items, wind chimes and jewelry. The waters surrounding the over 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago have given forth an abundance of aquatic splendor. Exotic shells can be purchased for small sums of money. However, be cautious in your purchases as many species are over-harvested and their extinction is only a matter of time. In particular, avoid purchasing the Nautilus and giant clam, protected species which are already endangered.


One of the richest art forms in Indonesia reflects the Indonesian woman's desire to ornament her traditional dress, which wouldn't be complete without various items of traditional jewelry. Ornamentation used with traditional dress is rich in symbolism and design. From modern designs in 22 karat gold, to intricate filigree silver jewelry from Yogyakarta, using precious and semi-precious stones, or modern plastic, wood or ceramic ... there are many designs, materials and price ranges to choose from. Many expats indulge their love of a particular type of jewelry ... buying opals or silver jewelry until they've built up quite impressive collections.

Antique jewelry (both authentic and reproductions) is a favorite of expats. Antique trade beads, or their reproductions, are very popular. Mabe pearls are a favorite with expats in Jakarta. You can purchase the loose pearls and have them set in your own gold or silver design at your favorite jewelers. Pearl farms harvest huge quantities of mabe and fresh water pearls in Lampung, Maluku and Sulawesi.

A trip to the gem markets of Jakarta or Kalimantan is a fun adventure and provides an introduction to the variety of gemstones available in Indonesia. These include diamonds, South Sea pearls, opal, sapphire, amethyst and banded agates. Beware that many stones are actually manufactured ... what is termed masakan in Indonesia. The karat content of gold can often misrepresented and gemstones could be fake. Depend on a trusted jeweler or shop with knowledgeable friends.

Antique Furniture

Beautiful Dutch colonial and other antique furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries is popular with expats, including Balinese opium beds, rice storage units, old cupboards, Javanese carved wall panels, doors and unique tables. These pieces may need restoration or may have already be refinished or reconditioned by the shops.

Many shops cater to the expats love of antiques and sell authentic antiques or reproductions. Widely available too are new designs of furniture, utilizing old wood. The advantage of old wood is that it is less likely to split when you bring it back to a dry climate, as the wood has been seasoned for decades. Much 'antique' furniture available is actually new furniture that has been left in the sun and rain for months to . age. the furniture. Be careful to purchase from a trustworthy dealer if you want to be sure you are getting authentic antiques.

Wood Carvings

Wooden carving traditions and skills can be found throughout the Indonesian archipelago, with the most famous being from Bali, Central Java, Madura, Sumatra and Papua. Different areas developed very different traditions so that many items are immediately identifiable as being created by particular ethnic groups. Most popular with expats are Javanese and Balinese wooden image carvings, Jepara lattice-like three-dimensional reliefs and Irianese primitive carvings. Even amongst wooden carvings from a particular province, differences in design, style and subject matter are easily evidenced after some study. Irianese tribes such as the Asmat, Dani, and Komoro have very distinctive styles of carvings of totem poles, weapons, figures and utensils. Whimsical, brightly colored modern carvings are produced primarily in Bali. And the popularity of these pieces has influenced the wooden carving traditions of other regions as well.

Used in prehistoric times in burials, the use of ancient spirit masks have given way to masks used in many traditional dances. These highly stylized masks, topeng, depict the various characters in the story told by the dance. Masks enable the performers to assume new identities and depict a variety of characters from demons to animals, princes or gods. Amongst the most famous masks used in dance are the Rangda and Barong masks from Bali. In this traditional dance, performed often for tourists, the interaction of Rangda, representing evil, and the Barong, representing good, restores the harmony between the good and evil in life.

While masks for sale in stores are primarily from Central Java and Bali, masks from other ethnic groups were used widely in the past to communicate with ancestors, for blessings for harvests, protection from evil spirits, to acquire new personalities or great powers.

Fragrant sandalwood from the Nusa Tenggara is available in carvings, medicine, incense, cosmetics, prayer beads and useful items such as pens and fans. It is usually stored in a special glass cabinet in stores and a stroll past the cabinet will quickly acquaint you with the exotic fragrance of this special wood. Woods used in carving include ebony, teak, mahogany, ironwood, sandalwood and other lesser known indigenous woods. The price may often be related to the type of wood used, as harder woods are more difficult to carve. Since many are concerned by the cutting of tropical hard wood forests, many wood items are made from teak trees which are cultivated on plantations. Look for the labeling designated the item as utilizing plantation-grown teak.

Stone Carvings

Volcanic rock are carved to create statues depicting characters from ancient Indonesian myths and epics. These are predominantly found in Yogyakarta and Bali where stone carving traditions date back over 900 years and were highly developed during the construction of major temples in these areas.

Bangka Tin

Pewter items are made with tin from the island of Bangka. Favorites with expats are the angels in varying sizes, candlesticks, picture frames, and Christmas tree ornaments. Engravings of Bangka tin items are often presented by various expat groups to their members in recognition of various achievements.

Shops specializing in Bangka pewter items can be found in Jakarta on Jl. Paletahan. These shops offer significant discounts. Displays of Bangka tin items can also be found in the major arts and handicrafts centers in Jakarta and in other popular tourist destinations.


Painting as an art form was really developed in the 19th and 20th century and includes batik paintings, the highly stylized paintings of Bali which depict village and traditional life as well as modern oils and acrylics. Famous Indonesian painters such as Raden Saleh, command high prices on the international market and at auctions in Singapore and Jakarta.


Musical Instruments

Along with the other arts forms that developed in great diversity across the archipelago, cultural diversity also lead to the development of different musical traditions, thus different instruments. Angklung from West Java, Gamelan from Yogyakarta or Bali, flutes and gongs from West Java are favorite collectibles of expats.


"While non-Islamic art forms abound due to the rich Buddhist/Hindu traditions dating back for centuries, Islamic calligraphy has developed in various art forms as well. These include embroidery, wood carvings, ceramics, paintings, and the beautiful gold embroidered Tapis cloth of Lampung


The ancient Keris is a favorite of expats, as well as bone blow pipes from Kalimantan, swords and daggers. Bowsand arrows and spears from Papua are also popular.

Batik copper stamps

Used in the cap production of batik, these copper stamps are collected by expats. Special designs can be made at the Cap Man in Jakarta where cap are worked into drawers and furniture as well as lazy susans, coasters or trivets.

Whatever your tastes and pleasures, you will soon enjoy the exploration of the various Indonesian art forms and enjoy collecting a few for yourself.

Source : Here