Mamayoo Introduces Papuan Batik to the World

Papuan Batik

West Papua has its own kind of batik. With a distinctive design and color, a trained eye can distinguish Papuan batik from another Indonesian batik. It is Yolanda Tinal or known as Mamayoo, who has been bringing the popularity of Papuan batik to the world.

Yolanda Tinal, the Designer behind Papuan Batik

Papuan Batik

Yolanda Tinal saw the colorful tradition and natural resources of Papuan and thought it would be an attractive design to be put on the fabric. That was how she first draw the birds of paradise and the orchids of West Papua and paint it on the fabric. Labeled as “Mamayo Private Collection”, she now has a boutique in Kemang, Jakarta, and Swisbel Hotel Jayapura. 

Being the wife of the Vice Governor of Papua, Klemen Tinal, at the time, she has all the resources to work closely with the batik fabric production in Solo. She worked together to create new designs of Papuan batik that features cenderawasih, Papuan fish, orchids, and other beauty that comes from the natural life of West Papua. 

However, it takes weeks to create a design since all the production steps are done manually, from making the fabric to drawing the pattern. Still, it adds more value to the Mamayoo batik. At times, the Mamayoo brand is overwhelmed by the orders and had to make the customers wait for the pieces to finish. 

What Makes Papuan Batik Different from Others?

Papuan Batik

The batik industry in West Papua started around 1985. That is why the tools and way to make it is quite the same as the way they make in the Javanese way. What makes it different is the pattern and design. If the Javanese batik incorporates a more symmetrical design, the Papuan batik is often asymmetrical and has large patterns.

The color of the Papuan batik is also livelier and more colorful, retaining it from natural dyes from the trees, leaves, spices, and flowers. However, recently they also use some synthetic coloring agents to shorten the process of batik-making. 

Some designs are native to the tribes of West Papua such as:

  • Asmat Batik

The pattern follows the same design of the Asmat carving that incorporate geometrical pattern with natural colors. It may also depict a person or a hunting session. 

  • Kamoro

Batik of Kamoro depicts the people of Kamoro and their activities. Some batik designs show the weapons, the trees, and the dances of Kamoro people. The large pattern makes the batik is suitable for large fabrics such as bedsheets and blankets.

  • Sentani 

Sentani tribe’s art has a distinctive style of depicting the humans of their tribe. They use spiral designs that show the life circle of the trees. They usually use not more than two combinations of colors. 

  • Tifa Honai

Being the traditional house of West Papua, a honai is a symbol of family togetherness and happiness. It is where the people find shelter wherever they came from. Honai batik is usually drawn together with a musical instrument, trees, or other West Papuan scenery.

  • Cenderawasih

Cenderawasih or the birds of paradise has beautiful white, brown, red, ad gold colors. The West Papuan batik designers often put these colors combination and the depiction of cenderawasih on the fabric. 

Adopting the Javanese way of making batik, the Papuan batik is also made hand-drawn or stamped. The hand-drawn batik is usually made by the women, while the men do the stamping process. 

The biggest center of Papuan batik is located in Jayapura, where it was initially landed from Java Island. in 1985, the United Nations of Development Program (UNDP) brought several batik crafter from Yogyakarta to arrange a workshop for the West Papuan people. Since then, the originality of Papuan batik has been developing through their creativity. 

In 2016, Mamayoo Brought the Batik to the International World

Papuan Batik

In the event of Fashion Diplomacy in 2016, Mamayoo took part in the fashion show by bringing the Papuan batik. The event was held in the Grote de Kerk, Den Haag, where she collaborated with a designer Ian Adrian to create fashion pieces using her batik designs. Using premium fabrics such as satin, silk, organdy, and lycra, the fashion show performed around 35 pieces on the catwalk. 

The couture and modern designs collaborated beautifully with the colors of Papuan batik. It was also complemented by Barocqo Jewelry, a jewelry brand based in the Netherlands. Fashion Diplomacy was attended by diplomacies from several countries, the Indonesian Embassy in the Netherlands, and people from the fashion industry in the Netherlands.

Since then, Mamayoo has brought the charm of Papua, especially batik to the international world. Soon, Mamayoo aimed to have more boutiques to display her private collection in West Papua and big cities in Indonesia. To her, preserving tradition on batik can also be a way to introduce Indonesia, especially Papua to the fashion world.