Rattan furniture has a very well-known existence even throughout the world. There is a history behind its use as furniture. The use of rattan as furniture did not appear in the modern era. In Indonesia, rattan began to be used since Indonesia was conducted by kingdom.
In ancient times, rattan was considered as luxury item and was often used as a gift for the kingdom in another country. During Majapahit to maintain good relations, a suit of armor made by rattan was given to China. Not only to other countries, the kingdoms in Indonesia also use rattan as a gift. As in the era of Samudera Pasai kingdom which uses “white rattan” as a binding between the kingdoms.
In the colonial era, rattan also still has a high value. The colonialists bought rattan in Indonesia by way of barter with daily goods. This makes rattan as the highest commodity to compete with spices.
Rattan processing first appeared in the kingdom of Kutai. At that time rattan was used for the house construction of community. Rattan also used as household appliances. Besides being used by the kingdom, people in the Dayak tribe have also used rattan for their daily needs.
According to Heyne in “De Nuttige Planten Van Indonesia” the type of rattan that was first used was sega rattan. But over time, sega rattan is hard to find in areas near the community. To find it you need to explore a deep place in the forest. Since this happening, the community began to makes a cultivate rattan which occurred in 1850 in Central Kalimantan.
As time goes by, many studies began search about the types of rattan that can be utilized. Types of rattan that are often used include Manau, Sulut Putih, Pulut Merah, Jahap and Sega. This led to the emergence of farmers who opened up land for rattan cultivation. The beginning of opening land for cultivation was when the forest area was still large and the human population was still low.
Until now the rattan industry is still continuing and developing in Indonesia. Rattan with high economic value makes a lot of demand from both inside and outside the country. This brings benefits to rattan producing regions in Indonesia. Of course, Indonesia is affected positively. Rattan export activities bring many benefits to the country of Indonesia.