Exhibition on Sarawak’s ‘Last Ring Ladies’ a step towards community involvement in heritage conservation, says minister

Snowdan (seated centre) and others in a group photo after officiating the ‘Pameran On Semban: The Vanishing Culture of Ring Ladies’ exhibition held at Unimas in Kuching on Wednesday (Dec 6, 2023).

KUCHING, Dec 7: The exhibition ‘Pameran On Semban: The Vanishing Culture of Ring Ladies’ not only focuses on visual art, but also invites viewers to appreciate the cultural richness that is becoming increasingly endangered.

Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Sarawak Deputy Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan stated this in his speech prior to officiating the exhibition at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here on Wednesday (Dec 6).

“The ‘Pameran On Semban: The Vanishing Culture of Ring Ladies’ exhibition organised by the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts (Faca) Unimas can demonstrate the diversity of culture depicted through various beliefs and ways of life that are also synonymous with the identity of a community or ethnicity in Sarawak, namely the origins and knowledge related to the use of ‘Ruyang’ and ‘Lasong’ among the Bidayuh people of Semban Sarawak.

Sarawak’s ‘Last Ring Ladies’ in a group photo.

“This meaningful ceremony is more than just a gathering; it is also a tribute to the diversity of our cultural heritage.

“Our presence here is a tribute to the greatness of Sarawak’s ‘Last Ring Ladies’, who have become guardians of traditions and cultural heritage that are increasingly being forgotten,” he said.

Snowdan went on to say that the ‘Ada Apa Dengan Ring Ladies’ seminar, which was held in conjunction with the exhibition, provided an opportunity for the public to learn about the issues and challenges that women face.

“Their determination to preserve their cultural identity is an inspiration to all of us. This seminar is expected to inspire us to work together to preserve this increasingly rare tradition.

“A friendly session with Sarawak’s ‘Last Ring Ladies’ provides us with an excellent opportunity to interact with them. Let us pause to reflect, absorb, and appreciate their life stories.

“This is more than just a meeting; it is a conversation that brings meaning and knowledge,” he added. — DayakDaily