Delman : Indonesia Traditional Horse Cart

Delman - Indonesia traditional horse cart

Delman is the common name for Indonesian traditional horse cart.

I mentioned “common” because actually there several other names for the same thing. In Central Java, it is called as Andong. People in past Jakarta called it as Sado. Sukabumi City has their own version named as Nayor.

All names refer to a transportation mean dragged by a horse.

The short history about Delman

People in Indonesia already used horse dragged cart since centuries ago. However, the term of Delman was just started to be used back to 19th century.

It was when the current form of the traditional horse cart was created by a Dutch engineer, Charles Theodore Deeleman. He was an engineer working for Dutch Government in Batavia.

As you may guess, the nowadays name was based on the family name of the creator, Deeleman. Batavia (currently known as Jakarta) people’s tongue modified the name to become delman.

The form of delman is almost the same since its creation years ago. Only one horse is used to haul a compartment where passengers sit. The wheel of delman is two.

DelmanThe only modification on this traditional horse cart is on its wheels. Originally, the wheels were made from wood. Since it’s getting difficult to find supplies of wooden wheel, nowadays many delamns use car tire as replacements. However, there are still some that keep using their wooden wheels but not so many.



Sado is another name of delman. The difference with this version is on the passengers compartment. The passengers will be seated back to back each other.

In French, this type was called as dos-a-dos. The term, after years was changed at past Indonesian tongue to become sado.


Delman with car body
Nayor – source under CCAS 3.0

This is a unique version of Indonesian traditional horse cart. It is found only in specific place in Sukabumi City. It’s called as Nayor.

The basic idea is still delman. What make it unique is its passenger compartment. It is not like the same as other versions because it uses the body of an old Morris or Austin car called as oplet.

Oplet itself was known to be widely used in Jakarta and surrounding cities as public transportation.

Where you can find delman?

Not in Jakarta. Delman has been prohibited to crawl on the city streets since years ago. You can only find it in the city suburb area.

Even in the surrounding cities, like Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi, the traditional horse cart operation have also been limited due it pollutes streets with horse droppings.

However in smaller cities, or cities that have become toursit destination, you still can find them working as usual. In some cities, the horses are given special pants to avoid the droppings polluting streets.

So, guys and gals, if you come to Indonesia, then please try this vehicle. if you are not in hurry, it is a nice transportation to enjoy the city you visit. But, if you are in hurry, there is better option for you.

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