Irna Arlianti, Deny Willy Junaidy, and Jake Kaner: Historical Study of The Use of Dingklik in Java in The Economic Activity of The Colonial Era (1800-1900)


Low seats in Java have existed since Indian traders came to bring Hindu/Buddhist practices in the 8th century, where only high-caste people sat on low-elevated stone. During the colonial era, ordinary Javanese began using a low wooden stool named dingklik, intended for work. It has a simple form and is often hidden when unused, with little perceived importance. This study identifies the dingklik’s transformation through economic activities in Java during the colonial era. By collecting contemporary paintings, photographs, and films, the dingklik was analyzed in terms of content, visual elements, and height in the economic activities. Economically, the shape was oriented for mobility: the dingklik for pikul traders has smaller and lighter legs, hence was easier to carry. The dingklik in crafting has a greater volume of wood legs for long term use in a workplace. This research exposed the visual characteristics of the dingklik especially in the trade and craft economic activities.

[Java, dingklik, Javanese sitting culture, trade and craft economy, colonial era, traditional low stool].