WUKIRSARI, A Batik JourneyCategory : Alternative Tourism
Batik is an old technique to paint a cloth with hot liquid wax, then dying it into coloring water. For hundreds years ago, people in Indonesia had already known it, every place has its own styles, textures and philosophies. The diversity of Indonesian batik is connected by the same technique. In Java, Batik can be found in Jogjakarta, Solo, Cirebon, Pekalongan, Lasem or Tuban. Mostly in an old city, you can find batik as a part of civilization and lifestyle. 18 kilometers from central Jogjakarta city, there is a place connected to the other old city by batik, known as Wukirsari Village.
Going to the Wukirsari village, you can see another side of Jogjakarta, a landscape of rural daily life along the street. It seems people in south Jogjakarta living in a traditional way, by contrast the agriculture run in modern technique. You will disappoint because you can't see any buffaloes or any traditional wood fallow field. All are replaced by machine and steel.
Different view is looked in Wukirsari Village, you can see a line of traditional Javanese house, structured from dark teak wood, looks like weak but who has been admired that the wood structure saved lots villagers from big earthquake in last may 2006. The traditional ambience also influences batik makers to put on old batik technique. They haven't been using any machine tools, only 'canting' and hot dark wax. Canting is a pen fill with hot liquid wax.
You can see how people making batik in Wukirsari Village, looks like easy but it needs much concentration. First, painting on the white cloth which was painted by a pencil, second drying the wax under the shady place, third dying it into coloring water, fourth drying the cloth under the shady place again, fifth painting on the coloring cloth, then repeated the second, third and fourth steps again until the cloth fulfill of color. Let's say it needs 1-2 weeks to make batik. In Wukirsari, you can see lots of motif which created by the elders batik makers, as Parang Rusak, Ceplok Blah Kedaton or Kawung. The newest batik makers are crated contemporary motif, as calligraphy, ships, nature landscape or silhouette of a city. Now batik not just clothes, but also decoration and art material.
Walking on the Wukirsari Village, just as walk along in a labyrinth where there's no point. At the side of the house, you can see groups of women and girls make batik, on the other view you can see dark teak wall or green hill at the west village. Villagers live in harmony with nature. So do batik makers, they made nature color from plant, wood, leaves or latex.
Wukirsari, Imogiri, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
18 kilometres far from the centre of Yogyakarta.