The Sui Utik, Creative Works and Tembawang: Retaining Biodiversity in Kalimantan, Indonesia




Sui Utik, Tembawang, Sekar Kawung, Kalimantan, biodiversity, Indonesia, local wisdom, Dayak Iban, creative works, culture


This paper discusses how the Dayak Iban community of Sui Utik, Kalimantan, with the help of Sekar Kawung, a social enterprise foundation, uses the indigenous system of Tembawang to challenge deforestation and concomitant problems of air pollution through creative works based on the materials of the local rainforest. The research for this paper includes interviews with the founder of Sekar Kawung foundation, literature reviews, photographs, social media reports and community summaries. Sui Utik, in collaboration with Sekar Kawung, has developed creative works including weavings, an innovative application of tattoos, food and beverage products, and eco treks. The research found that the Sui Utik community, which started producing creative works in 2015, have continued their practice as social entrepreneurs. It is suggested that they should now expand their practice by working together with other indigenous entrepreneurs to challenge Indonesian craftsmen and designers to take their creativity, skills and knowledge to an international market. As part of this move, the development of innovative marketing tools using new technologies should be explored, while maintaining local wisdom as the core value for making creative works.

Author Biography

Octaviana Sylvia Caroline Rombe, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta

Octaviana Sylvia Caroline Rombe is an architect who graduated from the Parahyangan University, Indonesia and the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Sustainable Urban and Regional Planning at the Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya, on research in the area of Indonesian local wisdom and sustainable value chains supporting community development in areas of Indonesia. Octaviana is a lecturer in the School of Design at Bina Nusantara University, Indonesia.


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How to Cite

Rombe, O. S. C. (2020). The Sui Utik, Creative Works and Tembawang: Retaining Biodiversity in Kalimantan, Indonesia. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 19(1).