Indonesian Women Hairstyles (Timeline 1900s-1940s)

Before writing this post, I have to seek many sources for historical women hairstyles in Indonesia, reading a lot but unfortunately I forgot the sources (how foolish I am). I also searched the representative photos as people say ‘picture tells all’. Yes, indeed, of course, certainly, but one picture needs to be explained at first.

As I read, world’s fashion showed changes constantly. Started by Edwardian style with its ‘Gibson girl‘ hairdo which then copied by Japanese women as Sokuhatsu (Edwardian styled Pompadour) then coiffures, bob, shingled etc. However Indonesian women still retained their traditional hairstyles and can be seen as the following. I just explain in the simplest way I can do.

At the time, most Indonesian women or girls had simple hairstyles. It was just simply knotted back or had their hair covered by traditional headdresses. During the time, kebaya was prevalent even among youngsters. The fashion progress was dominant among Dutch, Indos (mix between European and locals) and some Chinese women. Meanwhile devoutly Muslim women wore simple headscarf or long hijab (though it was rare until 1990s). In general Indonesian women tend to  wear their traditional attires in daily lives depend on the regions. Maybe ‘modern’ at the time was when they wore kebaya and there were only few Indonesian women who had western attires as their daily clothes.

saudara kartini
Kartini and her sister circa 1900s. Photo source : here
Photo source : here
Aisyah congress 1920s. Photo source : here

Since 1930s, there were a growing number of native (pribumi) Indonesian women followed western styled-dresses. The hairstyles also followed the impact. In 1940s, though kebaya and konde (knotted hair) were still fashionable, but many women particularly the youngers wore their hair like westerners. Many of them wore two-braided hair or perm or made into pompadour styles. The changes could be seen when more women dressed up with knee length skirts and relaxed dress. In the mid-40s, two-braided hair was more popular among Indonesian women.

1940s. Photo source : here 
Indonesian independence day. Photo source : here







This is my simple analysis for Indonesia’s fashion history. I am not an expert, but I love history. From here, we can see that Indonesia’s fashion started to develop particularly in 1930s and since then, gradually influenced by global cultures. Let me continue for the next decades later.

6 January 2017

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Yudi says:

    foto wanita aceh kok g ada cak? 😀

  2. l. sastri says:

    I remember back in the days when I was a child, the ladies always wear kebaya and konde for a formal function. Fashion does evolved, and culture too.

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