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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
I thought that I would share some feedback that I have received this week from a Finnish traveller, Rauni, who has been travelling with her husband in Sarawak.

On another post in the Museums.... thread ... ic.php?t=3 - 5th post and following - there was information on the and the Tun Jugah foundation which is to be found at: Level 4, Tun Jugah, 18, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching. Rauni visited the Museum:

As to exhibits, the department store's 4th floor permanent Tun Jugah museum and showroom in Kuching is the only place at the present time where you can see weavers at work and some gorgeous old 400 (?) pua kumbu very well presented on the walls. There is absolutely no other place, except the Main Bazaar shops. They also have an exhibit of traditional wear and some smaller items. Very interesting and the people are most friendly. Few visitors though, will return there tomorrow.

I had looked forward to seeing another exhibit in Kapit at Fort Sylvia, but the building has been sold and is now used for documentation on Kapit's history, a rather boring visit.

We did not get around to the famous weavers' longhouses near Kalimantan border. During our visits along the Rejang we saw two weavers working, apparently producing mainly for clothing: jackets, skirts. In all we were disappointed to see how fast traditions have disappeared here. All longhouses are new, and most often people are just farming, then sitting around and talking. No more wood carving etc.

We had earlier discussed the collectability of pua kumba and I had said that I had a collection of bidang - Iban skirts - as these are more affordable than the pua kumbu. I had purchased several in shops in the Main Bazaar in Kuching. Rauni responded:

Yes, the bidang are indeed interesting, plus they take less storage/wall space than the pua kumbu - without mentioning the prices. The present specialist/promoter of traditions Edric Ong has lovely Pua Kumbu in his expensive EO shop in Main Bazaar. The cotton ones are extremely well woven, wish I could get one, we looked at them just a while ago. Now he has the weavers making them in silk, but is that really necessary? He tries to promote traditional colors, but apparently silk is hard to dye blue.

One of the problems with dyeing silk with indigo is that it rots the fabric - which is why traditionally silk was not usually dyed in indigo.

When time permits I will load up a bibliography of Malaysian and Indonesian textiles and also get around to photograhing the bidang collection and make a photogallery of them to share.

on-line tribal textiles resource

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