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The Nature and Culture of RattanReflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia$
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Stephen F. Siebert

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835361

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835361.001.0001

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From Forest to Furniture Boutique

From Forest to Furniture Boutique

(p.43) Chapter 5 From Forest to Furniture Boutique
The Nature and Culture of Rattan

Stephen F. Siebert

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explains how rattan from remote tropical forests lands in furniture boutiques in Europe and North America. The journey along this commodity chain begins in rain forests: in the dipterocarp forests of Sumatra and Borneo, in the mountains of Sulawesi, or in many other rattan-gathering grounds in Asia and Africa where cane is collected to meet the demands of the furniture industry. Rattan collecting entails excursions along mountain valleys and slopes in search of marketable cane—that is, canes of the desired species, length, and quality. This chapter discusses the path that rattan canes travel from tropical forests to urban markets as well as the steps involved in processing rattan canes for use in furniture making.

Keywords:   rattan, tropical forests, furniture boutiques, Asia, rain forests, rattan cane, urban markets, furniture making, furniture industry

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