Rattan: “The World’s Forgotten Treasure”

If fortune could grow directly from the ground, I would definitely call it rattan.

Yes, I’m sure I didn’t write it wrong.  Though there’s many things that could be considered as a great fortune, but I personally think rattan should at least be on the list.

To explain this story more clearly, I’d like to introduce you a little bit about myself. I was born as a part of the Dayak tribe in Borneo, the largest rattan-producing island in Indonesia. I’ve heard stories about rattan from my family, fell in love with it and decided to work on this industry. So, why do I consider rattan a forgotten treasure of the world? Let’s dive deeper into the fascinating history of this superb material.

Going back to 7th century, rattan was considered as a luxury item that has political and economic value. Like when the ancient kingdom of Indonesia giving rattan goods to India and rattan armour to China, as a sign of friendship between our ancient kingdom(s) with other countries around the globe. Even in the age of Dutch colonialization in Indonesia, rattan was one of the most sought-after materials at that time.

At first, rattan was growing abundantly in Indonesia and was widely used as materials for building and daily equipment. The scarcity of rattan began to occur when the demand and use of rattan came from other countries who were fascinated by the flexibility and durability of this one material. and as a countermeasure, in 1850 the most widely used Sega rattan species began to be cultivated in Borneo, and this cultivation effort was expanded to other islands in 1905.

Demands for rattan supply continues to come even since 1918, the demand for rattan began to come from neighboring countries. Although there are various types of rattan such as tohiti, kooboo, manau, sega, and many other types of rattan, the large number of requests made Indonesia cultivate rattan on a large scale in the 1980s and even rival the gasoline industry at that time.

The large demand for rattan raw materials pushed Indonesian government to implement the closure of rattan raw materials export activities in order to keep supply availability safe and support the handicraft industry in Indonesia in 1987. Until now, Indonesia is still cultivating and developing the rattan industry and rattan canal products in order to continue the nation’s heritage for this precious rattan.

We at Unity Craftindo are motivated to introduce and give you the best of Indonesian rattan quality handled with our finest craftsmanship to you. Are you ready to have a great experience with our treasured material?

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