Klaten regency in Central Java is rich in traces of Dutch colonial times, including in its public spaces. Old buildings are still standing along the Spoor Weg (or Jl. Station Klaten 151). There are also rows of buildings made of bamboo and sugarcane leaves. Locals call them “los” (wards), which means spacious in both Dutch and Javanese languages.
The “los” are 100-meter-long, 18-m-wide and 12-m-high and they are used to dry Vorstenlanden (princely land) tobacco leaves.
These tobacco leaves are planted between July and September and are harvested when they are 50-day old. The manual harvesting begins at 6 a.m. until 8 a.m. Fifty leaves are bunched and tied at time, referred to as dolok. A ward can accommodate 20,520 dolok.
After the leaves are completely dried, they are packed and sent to be processed into cigars.
Indonesia has been a cigar producer since the Dutch colonial era – apart from other cigar producer countries such as Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United States.
A Dutch businessman built a cigar factory in Yogyakarta under the name NV Negresco. After gaining independence, the company became a national
company called PD Taru Martani. It is still in operation and its cigars have been exported to Europe. [yan]