Every country has its pride when it comes to traditional dresses and national costumes, and for Indonesia, we call it the Kebaya. It is derived from the Arabic word “Kaba’’ that means clothing. There were many arguments about the origin of this perfectly beautiful traditional dress, but one thing is for sure, it is the National Costume of Indonesia. This article does not only tell you about the Kebaya dress, but this will also give you an overview of the historical importance of the kebaya dress noted in the history.

The history of kebaya dress

Evolution over time

Even with the advancements and evolution, the kebaya dress is never outdated because it has been modernized and made even more beautiful and classy as time goes by. Theis has given birth to kebaya modern dress avilable nowadays. That is why many Indonesian women are always proud of their national costume, and they wear it heads up because it is one of the most beautiful national costumes you have ever seen.


Historical importance

The historic significance of the kebaya dress would revolve around some of the different significant historical events that happened in the history. The kebaya clothing was first seen worn by the Portuguese sometime in the history as they landed to Indonesia and was then adopted by Indonesian women around the 15th or 16th century. It was also noted that before 1600 on the Java Island, a year when the poor or peasants were very little clothing, Kebaya dress was just worn by Rich, Powerful, Noble and Royal family. Because of the revolution, trade, and social meetings, kebaya was worn by neighboring areas like Sumatra, Bali, and Malacca.

A distinctive role

Several historical events would mark the importance of the Kebaya dress. During the World War II, Indonesian women who were in prison at that time did not wear the allocated Westernized clothing for them; instead, they wore the Kebaya dress to be able to separate themselves from their fellow prisoners of the different race as a symbol of Nationalism.

National symbol

Aside from that, the only activist woman present during the proclamation of the Indonesian Independence wore the Kebaya dress also as a sign of Nationalism. Aside from these historical events, the Kebaya National costume for Indonesian women was also worn mostly by the first ladies of Indonesia, they wore it daily or mostly on significant occasions and celebrations.


Kebaya is not only your ordinary piece of clothing, perhaps, it symbolizes Nationalism and other significant historical events noted in history. National costumes and traditional dresses play a significant role in history so it should be valued and given importance to and should always be recognized and remembered.

Historical Importance Of The Kebaya Dress
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