Ketoprak: Javanese Folk Art (Part 1 of 2)

Central Java is arguably the center of Javanese culture, with its two cultural cities of Yogyakarta and Solo (Surakarta). One of many performing arts (folk art) from this province is Ketoprak, performed by both male and female dancers. A typical Ketoprak show usually runs between 3 and 4 hours, with the total number of dancers

Ketoprak: Javanese Folk Art (Part 2 of 2)

The birth of Ketoprak was inspired by a traditional game called gejogan (or kotekan). The game, performed by teenage girls strictly during full moon, created sounds from a paddy pounder, producing a certain unique rhythm. While they pounded, these girls also sang to more accompaniments of kendang (traditional drum) and seruling (bamboo flute). Short stories

Dayak Dragon Boat Handicraft

The Dayak ethnic group is the indigenous people of Indonesia’s Kalimantan Island. Their tradition is undoubtedly fascinating to those who wish to explore the many cultural aspects still unknown to many. One among the numerous Dayak traditional handicrafts is perahu naga (dragon boat), a popular gift or souvenir. One’s first impression is that its material

The Legend of Mounts Sumbing & Sindoro

Java is home to many volcanoes. In Central Java province are two such mountains side by side, Mount Sumbing and Mount Sindoro in Temanggung regency. Today marks the national holiday in Indonesia, in observance of the first day of the Islamic year. Today is also traditionally renowned as 1 Suro or the Javanese New Year

Lombok’s Ketak Webbing Handicrafts

Lombok Island in Nusa Tenggara Barat province has been growing in recent years as a travel destination. Being an agriculture-based area, various plants grow naturally in the wild. Ketaq (or Ketak) is a creeper that grows on another plants. It is traditionally a material used to create a variety of goods through its drying, cutting

Baris: Bali’s Male Dance

Dance is arguably inseparable from the daily lives of Balinese people. This art form is not only merely a form of entertainment but also has traditionally complemented the various religious rituals extent on the island. Certain Balinese dance is regarded as ritual, and one among many is the male or masculine dance known as Tari

Rumah Limas: On the Brink of Extinction

South Sumatra province comes with a long history. Formerly known as Sriwjaya, it once was the biggest Buddhist kingdom in Southeast Asia. Like other regions in Indonesia, the ethnic group inhabiting this province has its own traditional houses and architectural style known as rumah panggung kayu (wooden stilt house) or rumah limas. The word limas

Badik, South Sulawesi’s Traditional Dagger

Many of the more than 300 culturally rich ethnic groups of Indonesia have their own weapons. For the badik, the traditional weapon is the dagger of the Makassar Bugis people. The process of making badik is not an easy one since there are three parts to work on: The bilah (blade), gagang (handle) and the

Jepara’s Traditional Weavings

Jepara is a small town on the north coast of Central Java province renowned for many years as the center of teak woodcarvings. This small town is also birthplace to Raden Ajeng Kartini, the pioneer for Indonesia’s women’s rights during the colonial period. Like Java’s other regions, kain tenun, or traditional weaving can also be

Rumah Bolon: House of the Batak Toba

The Batak people are North Sumatra province’s major ethnic group. Within this particular ethnic group are many sub-groups and tribes, for example the Batak Toba. Like most Indonesia’s other ethnic groups, Batak Toba have their own traditional house. Rumah Adat Batak Toba (Batak Toba Traditional House) is known as Rumah Bolon (Bolon House), a rectangular