Sarong Weaving in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Sarongs of Samarinda

Samarinda, the most populous city on the island of Borneo, has a long, rich history and eclectic culture, which makes the East Kalimantan capital a distinct destination in its own right.

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Pioneered by the Bugis refugees from the Sultanate of Gowa in the 17th century, Samarinda reveals the lasting Bugis influence through its unique handwoven sarongs, with over 160 traditional weavers continuing to practise the craft to this day.

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To make the sarongs, local craftsmen remain true to the centuries-old weaving technique using a tool called a gedogan, itself created by the Bugis. Though the artisans of Samarinda face stiff competition from the neighbouring areas, all contending to fulfil the high demand for handwoven sarongs, the traditional craftsmanship continues to thrive, as locals and tourists alike seek out authentic weaving, keeping the Bugis people’s legacy alive.