National costume of Indonesia

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National costume of Indonesia are national costume that represent Republic of Indonesia. It is derived from Indonesian culture and Indonesian traditional textile traditions. Today the most widely recognize Indonesian national costume are Batik[1] and Kebaya, although originally those costumes are mainly belongs within the culture of Java and Bali, most prominently within Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese culture.[2] Since Java is the center of Indonesian politics since colonial era, as well as the majority of Indonesian population, it is only natural that the folk costume from Java are elevated into national status.

National costumes are worn during official national as well as traditional ceremonies. The most obvious display of Indonesian national costumes can be seen by the type of costumes wore by President of Indonesia and Indonesian first lady, and also Indonesian diplomatic officials during gala dinner. The national costumes of Indonesia can be seen wore by the guest of Indonesian traditional wedding ceremony.

National costumes[edit]


Main article: Batik

Batik is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique to form intricate patterns. Traditionally batik cloth is a large piece of intricately decorated cloth used by Javanese women as kemben or torso wrap. Batik cloth were wrapped around the hips with multiple folds in front called wiron, while the upper torso wear kebaya fitted dress. Traditionally for men, the edge of batik cloth also can be sewn together to make a tubular cloth as sarong, or wrapped around hips as kain in fashion similar to women's. Later for men, the batik cloth also sewn and made into contemporary batik men's shirt.

Batik is recognized as one of the important identity of Indonesian culture. UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009. As part of the acknowledgment, UNESCO insisted that Indonesia preserve their heritage.[3]


Main article: Kebaya

The kebaya is the national costume of Indonesia, although it is more accurately endemic to the Javanese, Sundanese and Balinese[2] peoples. It is sometimes made from sheer material such as silk, thin cotton or semi-transparent nylon or polyester, adorned with brocade or floral pattern embroidery. Kebaya usually worn with a sarong or batik kain panjang, or other traditional woven garment such as ikat, songket with a colorful motif.

The earliest form of Kebaya originates in the court of the Javanese Majapahit Kingdom as a means to blend the existing female Kemban, torso wrap of the aristocratic women to be more modest and acceptable to the newly adopted Islam religion. Aceh, Riau and Johor Kingdoms and Northern Sumatra adopted the Javanese style kebaya as a means of social expression of status with the more alus or refined Javanese overlords.[4]

Kebaya is usually worn during official national events by Indonesian first lady, wives of Indonesian diplomats, and Indonesian ladies. It also worn by Indonesian ladies attending traditional ceremonies and weddings. In Kartini day on 21 April Indonesian women usually wear Kebaya to celebrate and honor the Indonesian women emancipation heroine. During Balinese traditional ceremonies, Balinese women wore colorful Balinese style kebaya with songket Bali.


Main article: Peci
Acehnese kupiah.

Peci, also known as songkok or kopiah, are traditionally male Muslim's cap. In Indonesia, the black velvet peci has been the national headdress with secular nationalist connotations made popular by Sukarno.[5] Numbers of Indonesian nationalist movement activist in early 20th century wore peci such as Sukarno, Muhammad Hatta, and Agus Salim. Indonesian male presidents always wear peci as part of their official presidential attire.

Variation include Acehnese kupiah.

Regional costumes[edit]

Other than national costumes, each of provinces of Indonesia, more precisely every ethnic groups of Indonesia have their own regional traditional costumes. These regional costumes also derived from traditional Indonesian textile traditions and crafts. The examples of Indonesian regional costumes that often also elevated as national costumes are:


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 members of 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.


Main article: Songket


Main article: Ulos


Main article: Ikat


Baju kurung[edit]

Baju bodo[edit]






  1. ^ Xia Ziyi (2011-11-16). "Cultural feast at ASEAN Fair". Xinhua. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Jill Forshee, Culture and customs of Indonesia, Greenwood Publishing Group: 2006: ISBN 0313333394. 237 pages
  3. ^ Indonesian Batik Inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
  4. ^ Maenmas Chavalit, Maneepin Phromsuthirak: Costumes in ASEAN: ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information: 2000: ISBN 974-7102-83-8. 293 pages
  5. ^ Yusep Hendarsyah (28 April 2011). "Peci Hitam dan Identitas Paling Indonesia". Kompasiana. Retrieved 28 March 2012.