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Tangas: the traditional Spa treatment of Jakarta’s Betawi ethnic group

June 15, 2015 Spa & Wellness No Comments Email Email

As the world turns increasingly herbal, Indonesia delves into her multiple traditions across the archipelago and discovers, then revives Indonesia’s Traditional Spa treatments.

spa in jakarta

One of these is from the home-grown ethnic group of Jakarta itself : the Betawi.

Every bride definitely wants to look her most beautiful on her wedding day.  Beautiful make up and an out-of- this -world wedding dress, nonetheless, are incomplete without her inner beauty shining from within. The Betawi ethnic group of the capital city Jakarta understands this well and therefore apply their traditional spa treatment, that has been handed down the generations, to bring out the perfect beauty of the bride on her wedding day. The Betawi call their traditional spa treatment : Tangas.

Tangas is a sequence of treatments that include body scrubs and a flower bath accompanied by chants and prayers. It is then followed by the bride drinking the traditional herbal drink called Jamu.

Aside for weddings, Tangas is also applied to maintain the natural beauty of any woman. There are also other traditional post natal treatment and for elderly women.

Here are some forms of Betawi’s traditional body treatments:

Tightening the female organs

Tangas Spa is in essence a steam bath intended to bring back the elasticity of female organs, increase libido, repair the womb. First, the entire body is relaxed with an oil massage and scrub with various ingredients that include egg shell’s flour, temugurirng,red galingale, and ginger. Later, akar wangi, lime leaves, orange leaves, kemuning leaves, lemongrass, mangkokan leaves, pomegranate leaves, ginger, and secang leaves are boiled together to produce the steam for the steam bath. Uniquely, a traditional pandan mat is used to wrap the body during the bath.

For brides, tangas is applied as early as one month before the wedding. Those who have undertaken the treatment will radiate a distinctly pleasant scent and sweat less.

Skin cleansing and scenting

Betawi’s teenage girls often cleanse their skin using various natural ingredients. The most common is the use of Kemuning leaves which have a certain pleasant aroma that adhere to the skin while making it smooth and soft. There is also the mixture of Beluntas leaves used to reduce body odor, especially from the armpits.

Post Natal Treatment

The treatment for this is called “Mapas” and is given to mothers who have just given birth to a baby. In this treatment, the stomach is scrubbed with a mixture of galingale and ginger before being wrapped in the traditional manner around the waist for 3 months.

To experience the unique sensation of Tangas, you can visit Gaya Spa in South Jakarta or Hermitage Hotel in Menteng, Central Jakarta.

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