We can’t state this more : Indonesia is one hella rich country when it comes to its culture and traditions. We have so many choices when it comes to the inheritance of our ancestors. They are one creative ancestors, that is for sure. In this article, we will talk about one of those richness that we have in terms of traditional inheritance. The topic that we’ll talk about? The traditional clothes.
Indonesia have 34 provinces (highest tier of local government divisions in Indonesia), and when it comes to its traditional clothes, each province has its own traditional clothes. Very rich and various cultural, is it not? It is true that we have 34 total traditional clothes that are spreading out throughout the country. However, in this article, we will just talk about the 10 most popular traditional clothes (So yeah, those best of the best).
Now let us dive deeper into these traditional clothes, shall we?
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1. The Traditional Clothes of Banten
The traditional clothes of Banten looks alot like Sundanese ones. Probably its because they both are so close to each other that even their traditional clothes are similar.
If we are talking about the traditional clothes of Banten (it called “Baju penganten”, by the way), we are gonna talk about how they are using it only in special occasion. Well, most traditional clothes are used only in special occasion anyway. (read also: Most Beautiful Fabric in Indonesia)
Usually, the people in this area are using this traditional clothes only when they are getting married. This is match with their name because “baju penganten” means “wedding dress” more or less. They have male batik headresses and for the females, they are using batik as well, with little ornaments on the head.
2. The Traditional Clothes of Yogyakarta
Traditional clothes from Yogyakarta has various function and custom that are established ever since long, long time ago. Many of them has unique variations that are ensuring people about the role of the user. As we know, Yogyakarta is one city that really respect the traditions that were brought by their ancestors. (see also: Javanese Batik Fabric)
For them, traditional clothes are not just usual clothes, it’s much more than that. Clothes for them are one unique sense of identity and often speaks loudly about the person wearing it.
They have establishment regarding these clothes as to where to wear them, what event should they wear particular clothes, and what exactly should they wear. (see also: Javanese Wedding Culture)
Regardless of the ornaments and accessories that they are wearing, the traditional clothes of Yogyakarta has one theme : batik material clothing. (Also read : Javanese traditions)
3. The Traditional Clothes of Aceh
Just like any other city in the country, the traditional clothes of Aceh is being divided by its user. The clothes for women called Daro Baro, while the clothes for the men called Linto Baro. (see also: Traditional Songs of Indonesia)
For the men, usually they have black color base for their clothes because black is a symbol of majesty in Aceh tradition. They will also have gold color yarn engraved in the clothes.
This is because in the past, Chinese people are often came to this place to trade and their cultures are assimilating in Aceh’s traditional clothes as well. (see also: Traditional Dances of Indonesia).
They will usually use Meukeusah clothes ( velvet woven clothes ), Sileuwe pants (cotton pants that is also in black color), Meukotop ( unique hat to cover their head), and traditional weapon that is usually slipped in the side of the man’s pants.
4. The Traditional Clothes of Riau
The traditional clothes of Riau is one of the traditional clothes that have various function and variety depending on the ones who’s gonna use it. You can find that Riau people are dividing their clothes by three categories : day to day traditional clothes, traditional ceremony clothes, and formal clothes. Day to day traditional clothes are each divided by three categories also : children clothes, adult clothes, and elder clothes. (see also: Indonesian Ikat Fabric)
For children day to day traditional clothes, children are wearing a clothes called ‘monkey clothes’ which is a clothes with an ankle-width pants and kopiah (traditional head cover). For adult, they have something called cekak musang. This is a traditional material clothes that are worn with kopiah and sarong.
For traditional ceremony, they also wear cekak musang clothes (for the men) and kebaya laboh (for the women). This is also the same with special occasion clothes, such as marriage and formal events. ( See also : largest ethnic group of Indonesia)
5. The Traditional Clothes of East Kalimantan
Kalimantan people are divided by two majority of people : Dayak ethnicity and Kutai ethnicity. For people with Dayak ethnicity, they have a traditional clothes called Ta’a and Sapei Sapaq. They have a very wise custom to make their clothes and this is proven by their genuine way of utilizing natural resources in the making of the clothes. They have head cover that made from bird feather and many beautiful ornaments in the middle.
Meanwhile, for the people with high status, they have tiger motives and for ordinary people, usually they use plants motives. (see also: Diversity in Indonesia)
Then, for Kutai people, they have traditional clothes called Miskat clothes. This is actually the most popular traditional clothes in the east Kalimantan and have been stated as the official uniform of people with service for government. (Also read : Traditional market in Indonesia)
6. The Traditional Clothes of Papua
For their traditional clothes, Papua people are using the very natural resources and are making it with simple techniques. Their traditional clothes are also famous in the area of Indonesia, because their clothes are so unique. For the male citizen, they have some kind of pants (but not pants) called koteka. This is a very simple cover for their bottom part of the body and usually they are in forms of a muzzle. (see also: History of West Papua)
On the other hand, Koteka is flat in the back and pointed in the front. Usually, people in Papua wears koteka when they are going hunting or just use it in their everyday life.
However, nowadays, because in Papua people are more modern, they are usually wear ordinary clothes just like us. (see also: Papua Culture)
Nowadays, koteka are being sold for the people as a form of gift. For the women, they have bottom cover with the form of tassel skirt. These tassel skirts are very simple and basic. For the top part of their body, usually they wear nothing and just paint it in various color and motives. They also have many ornaments such as the teeth of animals, spear, arrow, etc.
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7. The Traditional Clothes of South Sumatra
South Sumatra (Palembang) was once known as Srivijaya city. This particular area is famous for its two type of traditional clothes : Aesan gede and aesan paksangko. Aesan gede (big clothes) is a type of clothes that have a purpose of showing another people that the user of the clothes is an important/valued member of society. This clothes is worn on important events such as formal ceremony, etc. (see also: History of Plate Dance)
The second type of clothes called Aesan Paksangko. Different enough from Aesan Gede, usually this clothes is for the people to show their grace. The clothes are full of golden ornaments that makes the people that looking at it feel calm (it looks gorgeous too!).
This clothes usually worn on traditional events and just on several chosen people like dancers or MC.
8. The Traditional Clothes of Gorontalo
Mukuta and Biliu is the traditional clothes of Gorontalo that is usually used only in the wedding ceremony. Mukuta is the clothes for the men while Biliu is women’s clothes. The material of these clothes are usually consist of green, yellow or purple color. Very often, they have golden yarn as a form of ornaments. (see also: Customs of Indonesia)
For women, they have some headband called Baya Lo Boute. This is a form of symbol, simbolizing how women are tied down with obligation after they get married. They also have another ornaments called lotidu, which is garments with special decoration. (see also: Traditional Music of Indonesia)
For the men (Mukuta clothes), they have covers for head also and they named it laapia bantalii sibii, which is also have symbolic meaning. This means that even though men are the leader of the family, they also have to be gentle and take a good care of their family thoroughly. (Also read : Indonesian Mystical Creatures)
9. The Traditional Clothes of East Java
The traditional clothes of east Java looks a lot like central Java, probably because they two are close in terms of area. This particular province has pretty famous clothes that are brought to this day since the old times. They have two kinds of traditional clothes, with different function and usage : manten clothes and ning & cak clothes. (see also: Traditional Drinks of Indonesia
For manten clothes (wedding dress), they have black as the basic color and red as the ornaments color. The color of golden are also dominant, as they are often used as decoration. The manten clothes are looking like the picture beside. (see also: Indonesian Cultural Festival)
The second clothes are Ning and Cak clothes. This is actually a type of clothes that were worn by people in the contest of Cak and Ning. These are the contest that decided who’s the youth icon of the area.
10. The Traditional Clothes of Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. Even though this city is a modern city nowadays, they still have a particular heritage that we can’t forget. One of those important heritage is traditional clothes. (Read Also: Largest Islands in Indonesia)
Just like many other areas, the traditional clothes of Betawi (this is another name of Jakarta) is divided by three. There are wedding traditional clothes, custom clothes, and day to day clothes. (see also: Largest Church in Indonesia)
For the wedding clothes, they have an assimilation of cultures between Arab cultures, Tionghoa (Chinese) culture, and Malayan cultures. Each of them are having a good influence on the traditional clothes.
For the custom clothes, they usually are having a black material dress for the men and colorful dress for the women.
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Those are complete explanations of most popular traditional clothes of Indonesia which commonly represented each province in all over archipelago.