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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Sarawak Diaries

The number of hours spent in an airplane seems to be directly proportional to the “Exotica  Quotient” of a destination.

This is false of course and although I knew that, I had forgotten it until I arrived in Sarawak – a state that is just outside my doorstep figuratively.

The island of Borneo is divided into 3 regions – Sarawak, Sabah and Kalimantan. The first two are a part of Malaysia while the third is a part of Indonesia.

A pioneering photographer Dennis Lau notes that it would take a dedicated lifetime to explore and understand each of these 3 regions.

An example of the diversity – the Bidayuh tribe (which is not even the largest group here)  have 34 different sub groups, each speaking a dialect that other Bidayu do not understand – and so they converse in English or Malay!

The art and crafts of  Borneo are as vast as they are stunning – particularly their bead-textile work – so much so that a 3 separate  building / institutions  have been dedicated to the textile museums!

And the antique stores house as many stories as articles – each article leads to its unique use that awes the traveller!

Sea Gypsies, Jungle nomads and erstwhile headhunters – all in Borneo!

More articles about all these in a few days ….

A python for dinner

Bidayuh Tribal Longhouse in Borneo

A cultural ‘Stay’ experience – the Kuching Waterfront hotel for backpackers

Dayak Tribal Portraits

A drive through Old Kuching

Curious Dayak Tribal Objects

Sumazao Folk Dance of Borneo (Sabah)

jm

May 2012

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