Friday, October 19, 2007

Preserving heritage craft from Sabah

WHERE local pottery is concerned, we all know about labu sayong (water pitcher) from Perak and pottery from Sarawak while local heritage craft scholars and collectors are familiar with the terenang from Pahang and mambong from Kelantan.

What about the lapohan from Sabah? Never heard of it? Not surprising as it’s known only to East Sabahans and a handful of “outsiders”.

The lapohan is not a vessel for keeping food and water. Instead, it is a traditional stove that’s still widely used by the Bajau of Semporna despite the availability of modern gas stoves today. For the nomadic sea gypsies, Pala’u, who live in a lepa (house-boat), the oval-shaped lapohan is an essential kitchen utensil.

In efforts to preserve this unique craft, Kraftangan Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, has categorised lapohan as a heritage craft under its Heritage Craft Apprenticeship Project.

But lapohan is not the only traditional craft found in the quiet fishing port of Semporna. There are also lepa and lepa-lepa made on a nearby island and gong in a hilly village.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Preserving heritage craft from Sabah

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