Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Preserve textiles as Sarawak cultural heritage

KUCHING: The richness of textile heritage among the diverse communities in Borneo must be preserved for the benefit of future generations, said Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom.

Pointing out that Borneo is the third biggest island in the world, he said textiles play a very important role in the cultures of its people.

“Borneo communities are rich with the cultural heritage of textiles. For example, pua kumbu, songket and batik have been connoisseurs’ items and they have been exhibited in most of the famous museums in the country.

“Not only that, the uniqueness resulting from the art and inspiration has been enriched by fashion lovers from our country such as Tom Saufi with his pua kumbu theme.

“As for Indonesia, their Batik is the favourite of many across the world.

“This shows that we are not only rich in moral but the art of weaving,” he said in his speech read by Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang at the launching of ‘Pameran Wastra Borneo 2014’ at Sarawak Textile Museum, here, yesterday.

In Sarawak, until now, Pua Kumbu was still considered a sacred textile and motifs of the textile depended on the positions of the weavers.

“It also plays a very important role in Iban customs such as during birth, Gawai celebration, marriage and after ‘ngayau’,” said Mawan.

Neighbouring countries also regard textiles as a treasure that must be preserved, he said, adding that in Indonesia batik was worn by warriors and used as dowry during marriage.