Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Malaysia Ethnic Festivals - Ethnic fashion in the limelight

The following is a recent article published at our Leisure section:

The recent celebration of three festivals - Tadau Kamatan, Gawai and Adau Gayoh - showcased not only the fascinating cultures of the ethnic groups but also their colourful traditional attire.

The menagerie of traditional costumes and clanging of bells on the attire is a perfect combination of ingenious design and comfort. The colours and styles also depict the type of life each ethnic community has evolved into.

The attire combines metals, beads, bones and wood materials to form one gigantic canvas that in turn creates a beautiful persona for the wearer. Some costumes seem to be a clash of colours but strangely enough produce a fantastic but fascinating result.

Traditional attire worn by Iban showcases patience (either in wearing or creating it!). A simple suit is actually several layers piled one on top of the other. Weighing the dress down are heavy jewellery such belts made of silver coins.

The other thing that is reflected in the Iban costume is the fine silversmith work that abounds in the "super" large pieces in each attire. The most important is the Sugu Tinggi (a comb case made entirely of silver).

The Orang Ulu traditional dress on the other hand, is full of beads. The background is fiery red or black. At a glance, the beads appear to be sewn onto the attire but a closer inspection reveals that the costume is "appliqu├ęs" with the beads.

Click Here for the rest of the article and photos

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