Furniture and people: a photo journey from market to forest

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The use of teak in furniture making has long been a part of Javanese culture. Historical records dating back to the seventh century BCE describe the abundance of teak forests in Central Java and the formation of skilled carpentry groups who used its timber for the Kalingga, Majapahit, Demak and Mataram kingdoms. The Javanese consider teak and items made from teak a valuable part of their material culture, a species apart from other types of wood. Local carvers and furniture makers absorbed the influences of Chinese, Indian, Arabic and European designers, producing to this day highly sought after furniture wrought with intricate carving. The seventeenth century port city of Jepara, once a bustling centre of maritime commerce, remains today a major centre of furniture production and export in Central Java.

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