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The Chinese Cuiho Wardrobe for Wedding Gift

This paper does not want to romanticize the beauty and heritage of Chinese culture in Indonesia. The goal is a reflection of acculturation, not a glorification of the past.

The Chinese Cuiho Wardrobe is a cupboard made in the late 19th to early 20th centuries which is commonly used for provisions for newlyweds. This wardrobe is a Chinese cultural heritage.

Wedding Gift

Usually at the time of the wedding, the main menu on display is to present various types of furniture and accessories used by the Chinese community in this country for the period from the mid-19th century to the 1960s. One that stands out in Chinese furniture in the archipelago which later became independent Indonesia is the Cuiho Wardrobe. The shape, materials and ornaments of the cuiho cupboards which are still being collected in Indonesia are different from similar cabinets in the houses of the Gulf Chinese (Penang, Malacca, and Singapore).

The term cuiho, according to Musa Jonatan in the book Peranakan Chinese Indonesia - A Cultural Journey (2009), comes from the Chinese language, zihao, in Hokkien terms it is called jiho, meaning brand or shop name. Meanwhile, in West Java, there are cabinet-making companies, including Goan Jiho and Tian Jiho. So cuiho does not mean a cupboard, but is an abbreviation of the name of a shop/company that sells or receives orders for the manufacture of Chinese Peranakan-style wooden furniture in the last two to three decades of the 19th century to the early two decades of the 20th century.

Cuiho cupboards are usually used as wedding gifts from parents to their married children. Since the 1920s this tradition has been replaced with European-style furniture. The three-dimensional translucent carved cuiho cabinets whose photos are displayed on the front are the pinnacle of the work of making cuiho cabinets in the archipelago. Moreover, the left and right side walls are also carved, which in Indonesia is now almost no longer owned. Cui-ho clothes are more primitive, the upper panels are only hand-painted. The price per cuiho cupboard ranges from a few million to more than two hundred million rupiah.

At several furniture exhibitions, you can see various types of cuiho cabinets, ranging from those whose function is for clothes, displays, and perfumes, which consist of three layers (in Malaysia and Singapore only two layers), to medicine (two layers) and for the kitchen. , characterized by two circular engraved panels in front and wired gauze.

The materials used for making cuiho are generally teak and yellow wood (tembesu). Many drawers and cabinet panels at the bottom take advantage of the beauty of the trembalu wood and Ambon root wood or burl wood.

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