Luxe is translated to something expensive, high quality, and most likely worth a lot of money or something worth robbing. In many ways, I agree on this definition. But of course, luxe is a matter of perspective.

    On the other hand, there are many other definition of luxe. I also believe luxury can also translate to items made with hard and detailed manual work like any designer’s or artist’s creation. It takes a lot of love, sweat, and tears, to make beautiful objects, especially those that are involve generations of tradition. This FriFotos, we’re showcasing some luxurious Indonesian handicrafts by this definition.

    • Weaved cloth

    There are so many types of cloths in Indonesia, most of which are manually weaved. Weaving in the checkers pattern wouldn’t be luxurious, but weaving 9-10 patterns on one cloth would be. It takes a lot of time, concentration, and backaches, to make beautiful cloth that probably would be challenging for any machine.

    Indonesia - weaved coth Sumatra Barat

    Traditional cloth from Sumatra Barat. 

    • Wayang kulit

    Every single ‘wayang kulit’ is hand made. Every curve, crevice, and component, is hand carved on leather or parchment to then also be manually painted. Although they seemed scattered all over Java, there is no denying that each pawn is special and shows a piece of its maker.

    Indonesia - Wayang kulit

    • Gems

    Indonesia is an oddly rich country. When in comes to minerals and gems, we kinda have a lot of them. Martapura is on of the cities that are well known to produce gems from mud holes (more here). Then there’s the polishing and design that makes these rocks into a beautiful element of luxury, or make someone beautiful. I’m sure the ladies know what I’m talking about.

     Indonesia - Kecubung rock

    • Ivory and bone carving

    Ivory dates way back to the ancestors of the Flores people. It was a man’s offering to wed a woman, but the value has decreased as ivory are no longer common. Bones are remains of their kill and livestock. With it, local craftsmen have made art out of those remaining on the island and surely, they don’t do mediocre work. Detailed and intricate work is applied on every item, which eventually defines the artwork than the value of the ivory or bone itself.

    Indonesia - carved ivory


    What’s most luxurious about these handicrafts is the fact that it’s made with traditional knowledge. It has now become more and more priceless, since it isn’t very popular amongst the next generation who prefer to be doctors and accountants (which isn’t a bad thing, just a matter preference). However, its luxurious value will always live because its disappearance will lead to another expensive set of items to be called antiques 🙂