Maluku Batik: Flying fish from the Spice Islands of Indonesia
The Maluku Islands were once considered one of the finest places in the world for trading mace, nutmeg and clove. Known as the Spice Islands by Dutch East Indies traders, this network of islands produced some of the finest spices in the world which were sent to markets across Asia and Europe. Today the Maluku islands offer some of the best diving and underwater photography available — as well as inspiration for our Maluku Batik Mens Island Shirt.
The best place to see flying fish in Indonesia is near Ambon Island in the Maluku Islands; the bay is rich with all kinds of reef life and fish and the flying fish thrive in these warm waters off the coast of Ambon.<br><br>Because of their musculature and long butterfly like wings, flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, enable gliding flight for considerable distances before returning to the ocean below.
The record for observed single flight is 45 seconds in flight by a flying fish in Japan caIled Icarfish. The fish was observed by a cameraman and it is believed that 45 seconds is just about as long as the fish can survive outside of water without descending to breath under water once again. This video produced by the BBC shows both the grace and the bittersweet reality of the life of a flying fish which is pursued by both mahi-mahi or Dorado fish from below the sea as well as Frigratebirds from the sky above.
“Flying fish have always been a kind of curiosity for me”, says Alex, our Indonesian batik manager, “so I decided to include them in our Aquatic Life Collection for 2019 to celebrate their fascinating ability to swim like fish and fly like birds.”
The stamp is made from copper filagree, hand bent, hammered and shaped into the various parts of each fish. Each part is then welded to a honey-comb like base to provide rigidity and structure to the entire element.
“The principal color for the motif is steel blue, reflecting the colors of the flying fish’s body and wing-like fins. It is a strong motif resulting in a batik that is certainly to attract interest and compliments when worn.”
See the shirt in our collection here.