Seminar planned to explore mass production of traditional Dayak attire, expand market opportunities

Uggah and Gerald (bending) greeting adorable young children in traditional costumes who participate in the Niti Daun at Betong on June 10, 2023.

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BETONG, June 10: A seminar is being planned to explore the production of traditional Dayak costumes on a larger scale.

Disclosing this, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that the objective is to find ways to mass-produce these costumes for both local and international markets.

“We have in mind to mass produce while maintaining the originality and quality of the Dayak traditional costumes.

“This will present a significant business opportunity for our weavers, designers and others involved in the industry,” he said in a statement after launching the divisional-level Gawai Dayak procession (Niti Daun) here today.

Uggah highlighted that the is a huge market for such costumes, but Sarawak simply cannot cope with the demands with limited production capacity.

“If you want to buy, for instance, the ‘Pua Kumbu’ (a traditional woven cloth of the Iban), it is not easy because the production is very limited,” he said.

Uggah lighting the cannon when launching the Niti Daun parade at Betong Sports Complex on June 10, 2023. Photo credit: Wilfred Pilo

Regarding marketing, Uggah suggested utilising the internet and other means to access larger markets.

Encouraging the Dayak community to embrace the challenge of promoting their cultural heritage, he called for producing advanced, beautiful, and sophisticated pieces.

Additionally, he proposed including more items for discussion during the seminar.

Uggah also urged the Dayak community to continue upholding the ‘Segulai Sejalai’ (together in one direction) spirit in all they do to benefit from more development and progress.

Meanwhile, Layar assemblyman Datuk Gerald Rentap Jabu, who spoke earlier, estimated that the traditional costumes and various accessories worn by some 2,000 participants from 36 contingents at the Niti Daun were valued at around RM1 million.

He commended the participants for their very strong passion and dedication to preserving and promoting these cultural treasures. — DayakDaily

Uggah is exchanging greetings with a Kadazan Dusun cultural group taking part in the Niti Daun in Betong on June 10, 2023.