Must Buy in items Sarawak

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Shopping in Sarawak


Shopping in Sarawak can be a highly pleasurable experience. Kuching is probably the best area to shop for local artefacts. Don’t expect bargains but don’t be shy to negotiate either. There is plenty to choose from so time is of the essence when shopping in Sarawak.

 

There are several modern shopping centres in Sarawak. In Kuching, there is Wisma Saberkas at Jalan Green, Sarawak Plaza and Tun Jugak Complex at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Wisma Hopoh at Jalan P.Ramlee, Wisma Phoenix at Jalan Song Thian Cheok, and Kuching Plaza at Jalan McDougall.

 

Must buy in Sarawak:

o        Textiles

The weaving of Pua Kumbu is one of the oldest Iban traditions and it means ‘blanket’ or ‘cover’. Pua Kumbu is not only woven as sarongs, carpets and decoration but even as clothes and overthrows.

Other magnificent woven cloth of textile art in Sarawak is kain songket of the Malays. They are hand-woven textiles of gold and silver threads combined with fine cotton or silk yarn.  The kain songket is made to a size of a two-and a half yard sarong or skirt length.

           

o        Wood

Many of Sarawak’s tribal groups are skilled carvers, and they produce everything from huge poles. Amongst the more popular items are elaborately decorated wooden bowls; Iban hunting and trapping charms with small hunched figures carved on the end of a long spike; all kinds of ritual masks; entire longhouse doors carved from a slab of hardwood; blowpipes that can kill a wild pig (or a person) at 100 m; and the ornately carved and painted hornbill figures used by the Ibans for celebrating Gawai Kenyalang, the hornbill festival.

 

o        Bamboo

The Bidayuh are best known for their bamboo carving. From containers to kitchenware, flooring to fans and pipes for water or tobacco, bamboo is used in a thousand ways in Sarawak. The variety of its uses is matched only by the diversity of the designs and carvings. They can produce very fine boxes and containers that may have been designed to hold betel nut or blowpipe darts, but are just as good for storing pens and pencils.

 

o        Reed Basket

A wide variety of household items are woven from rotan, bamboom, bemban reed as well as nipah and pandanus palms. Basket-making has indeed evolved from a craft into an art. Bemban baskets come in a variety of styles and colours and have many uses. They make chic shopping baskets, purses and handbags.

 

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