INDONESIA has always attracted the foreigners, adventurers and tourists from the lovely planet for its immense beauty in culture, nature, geography, bio-diversity and people. The indigenous people’s interaction with the people coming from multiple regions from time to time has produced a really rich, magnificent and diverse heritage of the country. Indonesia is a huge populous country having the population around 237.6 million and there are over 300 ethnic groups in Indonesia. 95% of those are of Native Indonesian ancestry. Javanese is the biggest one with 100 million people (42%), followed by Sundanese who amount to nearly 40 million (15%).
If we say, Indonesia is a land of traditional performing arts, it might not be wrong. There is spectacular music having variation in region to region, folk-dances full of amusement and colors, fascinating drama and theater activities, glorious martial arts and brilliant puppet festivals. In all of such festivities, one factor is very common and prominent and that is the traditional dress of Indonesia. There are tremendous varieties in the traditional outfits and costumes of Indonesia, as every territory has its own and distinctive clothing culture.
Kebaya is the national dress of Indonesia. Kebaya is a combination of different traditional clothing of Indonesia like Batik, Sarong, songket and ikat. The dress was originated from Java and Bali where it was traditionally woven with magnificent patterns.
Today the Indonesian women prefer many type of fabrics like silk, cotton, nylon or polyester for Kebaya. Kebaya was named by the Portuguese immigrants who stepped in Indonesia few centuries ago. Kebaya is associated with a type of blouse worn by Indonesian women in 15th or 16th century.
Today, the fashion designers of Indonesia have brought tremendous changes in Kebaya. Usually Kebaya is liked made with lace brocade and prepared with floral patterns either printed or woven into the textile and its length can fall somewhere from above the waist to below the knee. It usually, but not always, has long sleeves. It is usually fastened at the front, and if not, then gives a semblance of doing so. Some variations of the kebaya will use a batik sash, which is coordinated with the kain, draped over the shoulder as an added accessory.
Tanjak which is called by some people as Setanjak, is actually a head wrap cloth usually worn by the Indonesian men. It is a long folded garment with magnificent embroidery and considered as a typical formal clothing accessory. In the wedding ceremonies the grooms wear Tanjak with pride.
Blangkon is also popular traditional headdress among the Indonesian men which is made of batik fabric. Some people think that Blangkons are believed to derive from turbans worn by Gujarati traders.
The tribal women of Sulawesi in Indonesia traditionally wear a rectangular and short-sleeved outfit which is usually popular in bright red and orange colors. This is known as Baju Bodo and is one of the oldest attires of Indonesia.
A famous folk dance of Indonesia which is equally popular and known to be a street dance as well is called Joged or Joget. The costumes of the performers carry the Portuguese influences as the dance is having the roots in Portugal. In it’s another form, many performers altogether wearing the typical outfits dance in social festivities.
Traditional Batik fabric is very symbolic in the Indonesian clothing culture. It is most significant in Javanese rituals where Batik garments are worn in mythical ceremonies such as the ceremonial casting of royal batik into a volcano. The Javanese people prepare Batik with natural materials like cotton, beeswax and plants from which different vegetable dyes are made. Batik is made either by drawing dots and lines of the resist with a spouted tool called acanting or by printing the resist with a copper stamp called a tjap.
A brocade fabric known as Songket is also trendy in Indonesia which is actually hand-woven in silk or cotton and patterned with gold or silver threads. There are hundreds of songket designs prominent in Indonesia.
Peci, also known as Kopiah is a truncated cone cap which is usually made of black or embroidered felt, cotton or velvet. Muslim males normally wear Peci in wedding ceremonies, joyful festivals and in other formal events. These days, it is declared as the national headdress of Indonesia.
A sarong or sarung is a fabric similar to Dhoti or Dhuti of South Asia which a large tube or length of cloth, often wrapped around the waist and worn by men and women, particularly in the rural areas. Many modern sarongs have printed designs, often depicting animals or plants.
Another traditional technique to prepare the textiles in Indonesia is known as Ikat iket, in which resist is formed by binding bundles of threads with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The threads are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered and the thread bundles dyed again with another color to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are woven into cloth.
Hand woven garments prepared with length wise and cross wise threads made with wood-fiber, cotton or silk are known in Indonesia as Tenun clothes and have iconic importance in the Indonesian heritage.
The Dayaks are the indigenous people of Borneo in Indonesia who are well-known for their colorful traditional costume. In its sub-group known as Benuaq, the women are famous for their trademark fabric called Ulap Doyo. The traditional dresses are made from doyo leaves or tree barks, matched with ketau or tapeh made also from doyo leaves. In special occasions, the tribal warriors present the “Gong Dance” in which they adorn their bodies with different tattoos and amuse by aggressive movements.
Indonesia as described earlier is a huge multiethnic and multicultural society having hundreds of ethnicities and races. Each one has variations in their customs, traditions and culture. These diversities are exhibited in the traditional dancing events in Indonesia such as Balinese, Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, Palembang, Malay, Aceh and many other dances to promote the Indonesian culture and to flourish tourism in the country. The performers of these dances wear pure traditional outfits to fascinate the spectators.
Traditional dress of Indonesia which is featured with unique patterns and designs is truly symbolic in the heritage of South East Asia.
For more interesting posts with the same subject on the Lovely Planet Website, please click the following links;1- Algerian Traditional Dress 2- Traditional Dress Of Serbia 3- Traditional Dress Of Kosovo 4- Traditional Dress Of Libya 5- Traditional Dress Of Morocco 6- Traditional Dress Of Albania 7- Traditional Dress Of Tunisia 8- Traditional Dress Of Lebanon 9- Traditional Dress Of Bosnia And Herzegovina 10- Traditional Dress Of Azerbaijan 11- Traditional Dress Of Turkmenistan 12- Traditional Dress Of Kazakhstan 13- Traditional Dress Of Kyrgyzstan 14- Traditional Dress Of Uzbekistan 15- Traditional Dress Of Tajikistan 16- The Traditional Dress Of Laos 17- The Traditional Dress Of Vietnam 18- Traditional Dresses Of The World – 1 19- Traditional Dress Of Jammu & Kashmir 20- Ottoman Dresses From Turkey 21- Colors Of Cholistan 22- Cultural Dresses Of Balochistan 23- Lehenga Choli Or Ghagra Choli 24- Sari Or Saree : Traditional Dress Of Women In South Asia 25- Ajrak , The Traditional Attire From Sindh , Pakistan 26- The Traditional Tais Of East Timor 27- Shalwar Kameez: The Popular Dress Of South Asia 28- Churidar Pajama: The Favorite South Asian Attire 29- Pakistani Bridal Dress 30- Rilli, Sindhi Quilt Art 31- Fantastic, Alluring Khussa Shoes 32- Customs And Traditions Of Kalash Tribe 33- Hanfu, The Classical Chinese Dress 34- London Fashion Week 35- Fashion Week Milan: The Glamorous Event Of Italy 36- New York Fashion Week 37- Paris Fashion Week 38- Traditional Dress Of Jordan 39- Traditional Dress Of Syria 40- Traditional Dress Of Afghanistan 41- Traditional Dress Of Palestine 42- Traditional Dress Of Oman 43-Traditional Dress Of Nigeria 44- Traditional Dress Of Hungary 45-Traditional Dress Of Ukraine 46- Malaysian Traditional Dress 47- Traditional Dress Of Kenya 48- Traditional Eastern Brides 49- Traditional Dress Of Bulgaria 50- Traditional dress of Uganda 51- Traditional Dress of Iceland 52- Traditional Dress of Croatia 53- traditional dress of Norway 54- Traditional dress of Finland 55- Traditional Dress of Philippines 56- Traditional dress of Denmark 57- Traditional dress of Belarus 58- Traditional Dress of Puerto Rico 59- Traditional Dress of Nicaragua: Marvelous and colorful 60 – Traditional Dress of Nepal: Whimsical but charming 61- Brilliant Colors of Dagestan: Really fanciful and imaginative 62- Kabuki: A classical and traditional Japanese theater 63- Boogie-woogie: A famous Swing Dance 64- Colors of Samba Dance from Brazil: So lively so amazing 65- Ho Jamalo: The favorite folk dance of Sindh 66- Odissi from the Eastern India: A historic ritual dance 67- Sattriya from Assam: A classical Indian dance 68- Fandango: A famous couple dance from Spain 69- Maypole from Europe: A fabulous circle folk dance 70- Cueca: The national dance of Chile 71- Traditional dress of Belgium: A charming European attire 72- Traditional dress of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 73- Colors of Kalash: 5 lovely images of beautiful Kalash girls 74- Traditional dress of Georgia: The fantastic Chokha 75- Traditional dress of Argentina: The warrior Gaucho costume 76- Traditional dress of Venezuela: Not complicated but decorated 77- Traditional dress of Latvia: Made with the Linen fabric 78- Traditional dress of Romania: So captivating and graceful 79- Traditional dress of Estonia: So classy and versatile 80- Traditional dress of Armenia: So colorful and diversified 81- Traditional dress of Angola: A symbol of the ethnic culture 82- Traditional dress of Austria: Dirndl, Lederhosen and Tracht 83-Traditional dress of Namibia: Far from the modernizations 84- Traditional dress of Zambia: Rare but unique in nature 85- Traditional dress of Slovakia: Kroje , decorated and cultural 86. Traditional dress of Qatar: Pure Arabian endowment 87. Traditional dress of Brazil: So bright and colorful in nature 88. Traditional dress of Colombia: So iconic in Latin America 89. Traditional dress of Chile: So artistic and cultural 90. Traditional dress of Mexico: Blend of indigenous and imported cultures 91- Traditional dress of Panama: The exotic Mola and La Pollera 92- Traditional dress of Cuba: A product of multi-cultural effects 93- Traditional dress of Bangladesh: So awesome in its nature and kind