Craftsmen in Indonesia do not stop innovating in handicraft raw materials. In Indonesia, various kinds of handicrafts can be born from raw materials such as woven water hyacinth, banana stems and bamboo. There are many benefits of bamboo, one of which is a raw material for handicraft products.

Bamboo is a unique plant. Because bamboo can produce a variety of beneficial products. This plant is one of the fastest growing plants. Because it has a unique rhizome-dependent system, bamboo can grow 60 cm (24 inches) in a day or more, depending on the soil conditions and the climatology in which it is planted. In addition, this plant is not found in all countries.

This plant is only found throughout East Asia to the north of Australia and in western India to the Himalayas. This plant is also found in sub-Saharan Africa and in America from the mid-Atlantic North America to south to Argentina and Chile. While the European continent does not have native bamboo species.

In Indonesia, this plant is well known and used in various forms. This plant is also found in many places in Indonesia, even in all regions. Because when we visit any area in Indonesia, we at least find bamboo as part of a home building or kitchen furniture.

Benefits of bamboo

Based on data from Wikipedia, this plant has at least 10 genera and 1450 species. So that not all bamboo found in various countries is the same. Its growth is also influenced by conditions, for example the climate in an area. So it has different types in each country.

Woven Bamboo, source : Wikimedia Commons
Woven Bamboo, source : Wikimedia Commons

Some types of bamboo found in Indonesia include:

  1. Arundinaria japonica Sieb & Zuc ex Stend found in Java.
  2. Bambusa arundinacea (Retz) Wild (Pring Ori). Available in Java and Sulawesi.
  3. Bambusa tulda Munro. Available in Java.
  4. Gigantochloa (Reed Apus). Available in Sumatra.
  5. Gigantochloa hasskarliana (Bamboo Lengka Tali). There are in Sumatra, Java and Bali.
  6. Gigantochloa ridleyi Holtum (Tiyang Kaas). Available in Bali.
  7. Gigantochloa robusta Kurz (Bambu Mayan; Temen Serit). There are in Sumatra, Java and Bali.
  8. Melocanna baccifera (Roxb) Kurz. Available in Java.
  9. Nastus elegantissimus (Hassk) Holt (Bambu Eul-eul). Available in Java.
  10. Phyllostachys aurea A & Ch. Riviera (Uncea Bamboo; Small Reed Bamboo). Available in Java.
  11. Schizotachyum blunei Ness. (Bambu Wuluh; Bambu Tamiang). Available in Java, East Nusa Tenggara, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Maluku.
  12. Schizotachyum brachycladum Kuez (Large Reed Bamboo; Reed Nehe; Awi Reed; Ute Watat; Tomula). Available in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Maluku.
  13. Schizotachyum candatum Backer ex Heyne (Bungkung reed). Available in Sumatra.

Here are some of the benefits of bamboo:

1. Home Construction Materials

Bamboo can be a material made into a wall of a house. Bamboo fibers which are the outer shells of bamboo stems are woven into each other so that they become sheets sturdy enough to become walls. That is some houses in Indonesia in the past until there are still a few for now that use bamboo walls.

2. Bridge Structure Material

In areas of Indonesia where there are rivers often seen there are bridges made of bamboo. This bridge is a combination of bamboo stems made like a raft. Then on it also made a handle of bamboo as well to walk on this bamboo bridge.

3. Cooking Equipment Material

Bamboo stems can be shaped in such a way as cooking utensils. Bamboo stems can be formed into spoons, ladles and combined with other raw materials to become cooking utensils. In addition, bamboo is also used as a place to cook rice and several types of Indonesian cuisine cooked in bamboo sticks.

Bamboo as a musical instrument, source : Godong Ijo
Bamboo as a musical instrument, source : Godong Ijo

4. Musical Instruments

If you know Angklung, then you will see bamboo as its raw material. Angklung is a percussion instrument that is mostly made of bamboo. It turns out that bamboo has a loud voice that is delicious after being made in such a way. Angklung is one of Indonesia’s legendary traditional musical instruments.

5. Handicraft Materials

Bamboo can also be a material that is produced as a handicraft. For example being a tray, wall decoration, cap, all of which are bamboo handicrafts. Many craftsmen who innovate and juggle this material and make handicrafts that have benefits and aesthetic value.

6. Traditional Weapons

Bamboo is also known as a weapon in the past. There are several traditional tribes that use it. In Indonesia it is famous for its sharpened bamboo which was used as a weapon during the colonial period to fight the invaders. In addition to pointy bamboo, bamboo is also used as a stick to hit which is a traditional weapon of one of the tribes in the World.

7. Food

In Indonesia, the benefits of bamboo are also known from some foods. There is food made from young bamboo which is made into vegetables. In countries like Japan, young bamboo or bamboo shoots are also used as food. Besides human food, bamboo is also known as a food ingredient for several animals.

8. Transportation

As already stated, bamboo can be made into a raft. The raft is a simple and traditional means of transportation. Usually used to cross the river. Many countries still use this transportation as a unique attraction even though it is not the main means of transportation.

That is some of the benefits of bamboo as we know it. Hopefully this information can provide new knowledge for you.