Rajapolah

Crafts Woven Pandan Center

Rajapolah is a district in Tasikmalaya Regency in the Province of West Java, Indonesia. The Subdistrict is well known for its handicrafts. Rajapolah is one of the most important subdistricts in Tasikmalaya Regency, both economically and culturally.

Rajapolah is situated in the middle of the drainage basin of northwestern Tasikmalaya Regency region. The subdistrict lied in a relatively low-laying ground at average height of 450 m and surrounded by Galunggung highlands to the west and Sawal highlands to the east. The land of the subdistrict is mainly gently inclined areas, from west to the east, as it slopes away towards the east exit channel of the basin, Citanduy River.

Located 17 km northeast of Tasikmalaya Regency’s capital Singaparna, the subdistrict comprises an area of 16.9204 km2, consists of 6.5917 km2 of dryland and 10.3287 km2 of wetland. It borders with Jamanis Subdistrict to the north, and borders with Ciamis Regency to the east as it lined with Citanduy River. On the south, Rajapolah is bounded by Cisayong Subdistrict, and on the west is bounded by Sukahening Subdistrict.

Rajapolah people, estimated population of 37,558 are noted for their traditional works, the handicrafts. They produced a wide range area of crafts, from decorative items such as wall hangings, rugs, jewelry boxes, picture frames, to functional goods, like baskets, bags, mats, racks, plates, sandals, and cushions. Their products are exported worldwide, mainly to the U.S., Europe, and some of Asia regions. Most of the artisans created their works traditionally with their hands through weaving, plaiting, and coiling, and commonly using simple and traditional equipment. Their creations are mainly made from natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, reed, cane (rattan), rush, water hyacinth, sisal fiber, ash-wood splints, jute cord, absorbent paper, pandan, mendong (straw), and other natural materials.

This craft centers sell various goods with unique design and attractive to international quality ranging from umbrellas, slippers, decorative lamps and others. Here also the visitors can buy goods from these crafts with variable values.

Layout sub Rajapolah not far from the volcano, the mountain Galunggung several rivers that drain into the sub-district and empties into the river Rajapolah Citanduy. This results in sub Rajapolah as a fertile area, so that a minority of the population lives from agriculture.

In addition to the geographical conditions of the above, districts Rajapolah bypassed the main highway that connects the city of Bandung to Tasikmalaya district and subdistrict Ciawi. There are also stations and railway lines. The highway also connects the area with the district Rajapolah Panjalu (below Ciamis district), the district and the district Cisayong Pagerageung.

Based on the strategic network traffic is then Rajapolah have a good line of communication for the development of craft woven pandanus, convenient and easy to bring raw materials to the market selling handicrafts.

As already mentioned above that the general population Rajapolah livelihood as farmers. With the development of craft woven pandanus so some farmers are looking for a job as a crafter for additional income. Usually woven pandanus working farmers during the dry season or the season after harvest. Among them are those who work as providers of raw materials (ingredients not yet finished), the material is ready if (semi-finished materials or sheet webbing), crafters and finishing power. In addition to the side there are also the livelihoods of those basic livelihoods as artisans’ woven pandanus.

Enterprises craft pandan has long occupied by part of the population from generation to generation in the location of production centers. Pandanus handicraft production activities done by using a simple tool that is very easily done by anyone including mothers household. Procurement of production and raw material of pandanus handicraft business pursued by the crafters. Raw materials and supporting pandan handicraft industry which is used by the crafters are: woven pandanus, fabrics, sewing threads, coconut shell buttons, glue, dye / polishing, varnish, resluiting, mines and cardboard.

Location pandanus handicraft production centers located in eleven villages in five districts, namely District Rajapolah, Cibalong, Cikalong, Cipatujah and Pagerageung. Largest production center pandan handicraft business is Rajapolah District.