Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
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 ….
Dayak Tribal Portraits