KUCHING, Dec 8: A new range of designs of the Murum Penan handicrafts featuring contemporary patterns will be showcased this Monday, Dec 11 at Menara Sarawak Energy.
According to a press release, a group of weavers from the 70 artisans who are actively producing handicrafts in the Tegulang Resettlement will be at the event which will display handicraft featuring contemporary accents and accessories for an audience of invited guests and the media.
The introduction of the new designs is to enhance commercial viability of these authentic handicrafts, expanding their market further providing for an alternative sustainable form of livelihood for the Murum Penan community.
To ensure continuity, knowledge on craft-making is also passed on to the young generation. Skilled artisans will become mentors to the new generation of artisans, encouraging the preservation of culture and heritage of the Murum Penan community.
The initiative to diversify and elevate the already well received Murum Penan Handicraft began in 2016 when Sarawak Energy through a partnership with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) embarked on a handicraft development project that works to improve the quality and versatility of the craft products.
This kicked started a series of training workshops for the artisans residing at the Tegulang Resettlement Area in Murum which also included collaborations with the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation Sarawak branch and the Sarawak Craft Council since 2014.
The trainings essentially were to improve on the handicrafts’ aesthetics as well as on finishing techniques to further augment the handicrafts. The artisans were also given exposure through national and international exhibitions where they gained fresh ideas and exchanged knowledge on various techniques with other artisans from different communities. — DayakDaily