100yo Iban Pua Kumbu, Bidayuh ‘Dayung Borih’ ceremonial item among items donated to S’wak Museum Dept

Abdul Karim (second left) being briefed by Tun Jugah Foundation senior advisor Dr Peter Mulok Kedit (second right) about the Pua Kumbu while his deputy Datuk Sebastian Ting (left), and Sarawak Museum Department director Nancy Jolhi (right) look on.

By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, Nov 30: A 100-year-old Iban Pua Kumbu and a ceremonial item used by ‘Dayung Borih’ (Bidayuh priestesses) were among items donated to Sarawak Museum Department for keepsake.

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MCTP) Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the donations come from collectors around the world who have Bornean heritage and artifacts in their possession as a recognition of Sarawak Museum Department due to the department’s excellent reputation in collection care.

“It moved some of them to hand over items in their possession to the museum because they know that when the items are handed over to the museum, and if it is of heritage value, it will be there (showcased) for the world at large,” he told a press conference after chairing Sarawak Heritage Council Meeting 2023 at Riverside Majestic Hotel here today.

Abdul Karim also acknowledged all the donors and expressed his gratitude to them for returning the items to where they originated from.

The hundred-year-old Iban Pua Kumbu was donated by a collector from Australia, Deborah Dalziel. It was handed over to Sarawak Museum Department on March 17, 2023.

From left: Abdul Karim and Ting being briefed about the ‘Dayung Borih’ ceremonial item.

Meanwhile, the Dayung Borih ceremonial item which is closely related to a Bidayuh ritual ceremony, was donated by Michael Borro Durieng on March 2, 2023. It was part of a collection from Father John Chong Khin Leong from St Stephen Church in Bau, who is the custodian.

Among other items received by the department are two Orang Ulu parangs which were originally obtained by Duncan Shimwell McDougal, an officer during the Brooke era in the 1920s. He brought the parangs to England where they remained until they appeared a Christie’s Auction House in 1994.

Both Parangs was purchased by Lim Jit Boo, from Penang, who later donated it to Sarawak Museum Department through a request by Louise Macul.

Some of the early 19th-century printed images of Sarawak.

Other items include Bornean ethnic beaded accessories donated by Dr Davic McLanahan and Sarawak old prints consists of early 19th-century printed images of Sarawak people and places from books and newspapers by Dato Richard Curtis. — DayakDaily