Colonial Influence on Dress in Indonesia
The Indonesian archipelago, comprising approximately seventeen thousand islands, has a sea area three times larger than its land area. Indonesia is situated at the heart of a vast trading network between China, India, the Middle East, and Europe. From prehistoric times, cultures in this region were formed and transformed through interregional contacts, migration, and contacts with cultures from afar. Thus a continued merging and layering of cultural elements characterized the area. The western coasts, more so than remote parts of the inner regions of the islands and eastern archipelago, were exposed to influences through trade; new religions and political and social structures brought about many changes. People dressed in locally produced rectangular or cylindrical cloths, whether plain or embellished with designs, composed of bark, cotton, or other plant fibers.
This is an abstract of an article from the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The full article is available in the Berg Fashion Library.
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