Senin, 21 Januari 2008


Ornate motifs of animals, flowers, geometric shapes and stylized forms of boats and dragons embellished with golden threads on woven cloth, are produced in the town of Bandar Lampung in South Sumatera.

These handicrafts are unique to Lampung where the cottage industries have over the centuries produced the tapestry known as tapis that is hand-embroidered using golden threads from India, just like the days of yore.

The tapis was previously used by members of the royal court and dignitaries.

The heavily embroidered tapis is a weighty material. Today, it is used only for special occasions like weddings, with the shimmer of gold adding glamour and grandeur to the event.

The tapis is also used as wall-hangings with frame.

Most of the sewing is done by hand, as the product is finer and of better quality, particularly if the designs are tiny and intricate. They are more sought after than the machine-sewn ones.

Some tapis are interwoven with pieces of mirror, quite similar to the embroidery work produced in India. The cultural influence of India through maritime trade across the Indian Ocean in centuries past, lives on today in the craftsmanship of the tapis.

The designs of the tapis are also rather similar to the patterns produced by weavers in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, which had cultural contacts with the Hindu kingdom of Sriwijaya that ruled Sumatera in the 8th century.

How to Get There

Merpati Nusanatara Airlines has two flights a day from Jakarta to Bandar Lampung and vice-versa. It is best to take the first flight out at 7 am, arriving at Bandar Lampung at 7.40 am. The drive from the airport to town is about half an hour.

By this time, the tapestry stores and production centres would be open, especially those located at the market.

Bandar Lampung is a small town, so it would take you only a few hours to finish your tapestry shopping and enough time to head back to the airport to catch the next flight back to Jakarta at 4 pm or leave the following day on the 10 am flight.

Where to Stay

If you wish to have an overnight stay in Bandar Lampung, there is the 4-star Sheraton Lampung with rooms going for US$40, inclusive of breakfast. Or the 3-star Hotel Indrapuri with rooms priced at US$30 inclusive of breakfast.

Source : ASEAN Secretariat

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