Lombok Weaving Tradition, A Cultural Heritage That Will Always Be Maintained

Lombok Island in Indonesia, apart from being one of the favorite tourist destinations, also has a quite famous and special cultural icon, namely the typical fabric of the Sasak tribe. Don't be surprised if it turns out that this cloth has a high price.

Lombok Traditional Weaving Tool, named Gedokgan.
Lombok Traditional Weaving Tool, named Gedokgan.

The Sasak tribe's traditional fabric has a distinct style that sets it apart from other fabrics in the archipelago. This cloth is a traditional woven textile manufactured by hand with a gedokgan loom, which is primarily composed of coconut wood. The West Nusa Tenggara Museum in Mataram City, Lombok, has a model of the gedokgan loom that is quite antique and old.

Cotton, bark, banana stem fiber, pineapple fiber, and palm leaves are examples of yarn materials used to manufacture various types of textiles. Although the production method is no longer as complicated as it once was due to the availability of different cotton resources and even ready-made yarns, many families in Sumbawa continue to create their own yarn to maintain individuality.

If the reader wants to experience firsthand how the weaving heritage and its manufacturing method are still traditional, they can visit Pringgasela Village in East Lombok, which is about 50 kilometers from Mataram City, Lombok.

In fact, many other villages in Lombok still continue to maintain this tradition. Another option can also be to Sade Village, which is in Pujut District, Central Lombok Regency. The distance is about 30 Km from Mataram City. Here it is not only a weaving tradition, but also maintains the original Sasak house made of bamboo poles with a thatched roof and one door with three rooms.

Another recommendation to get the original Sasak woven fabric can also be to Sukarara Village in Jonggat District, Central Lombok. It is about 25 Km from Mataram City. The atmosphere of weaving here will be felt from the first time you enter the village, with the distinctive sound of the rattling of traditional looms that are found in almost all houses. This village is even dubbed the weaving village. This village is famous for producing the famous Sukarara Songket.

Many indigenous women of the Sasak tribe on the island of Lombok own the weaving tradition, which dates back to prehistoric times. This custom has been passed down from generation to generation and is currently going strong.

The weaving culture of the indigenous people of Lombok is an integral component of their daily lives. A mother will teach her daughters how to weave; they are not even considered adults and cannot marry before their daughters have learned to weave.

Although it has progressed significantly from generation to generation, the core qualities of Sasak woven fabrics, particularly fabrics with vertical or horizontal stripes motifs, have not changed.

Another woven product from Lombok Island features a theme that appears on both sides of the fabric, preventing other embellishments from having a front and back.

The Sasak Tribe has developed a variety of woven fabrics through generations of development. The numerous motifs show the differences in the many types of woven fabrics. For the present being, the colour of Sasak woven fabrics is more diversified, and it is occasionally modified to modern tastes.

Until date, the Sasak Tribe has produced a variety of woven fabrics. In general, ikat and songket woven fabrics are used in Lombok's traditional ancestral fabrics. Songket woven fabric is more special and is made of higher quality materials and is supplemented with more creative accessories, such as gold thread. Ikat woven fabric is a fabric that is often used in everyday life and is more of a garment material.

According to the process of weaving Sasak songket weaved cloth, precision and patience are required. The time it takes to make it longer can be weeks or months.

Sasak songket woven cloth is quite pricey due to the longer manufacturing process and higher level of difficulty.

The use of traditional Sasak songket woven cloth for events such as weddings or other special occasions is likewise highly ceremonial. The women of the Lombok palace, as well as the royal family, used this material on religious occasions in the past.

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Reference source :

- Various descriptions of Lombok weaving at the NTB Museum, Mataram City.

- https://youtu.be/SNpiQj-f73M

- https://www.ntbprov.go.id/