UK’s Pitt Rivers Museum urged to return Kenyah Badeng sunhat exhibit to S’wak

Sarawak is working towards the return of the Kenyah Badeng sunhat exhibit from Pitt Rivers Museum, UK. Screenshot taken from Ukas' Facebook livestream.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, May 23: Sarawak Museum Department has submitted an official request to Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, United Kingdom (UK) to return a Kenyah Badeng sunhat exhibit to Sarawak.

Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the sunhat was taken away from the Kenyah during one of the tribal wars in Baram, and ended up in the UK.

“During the department’s last trip to London, the delegates initiated a courtesy call on Pitt Rivers Museum to discuss and submit the official request for the return of the sunhat, the Kenyah Badeng sunhat.

“Bringing back the sunhat will give new meanings and significance to the people of Sarawak as new interpretations of old histories will come to light,” he said in his ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim said the Museum Department is also working closely with the British Museum in London to send a curator for the latter’s international training programme from July to August 2023.

Other than the recent Memphis in May International Festival and the London Crafts Week exhibitions, he said, Sarawak will establish more collaborations this year through strategic partnerships with Natural History Museum, London and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Singapore.

“The outcome of this will be MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with these institutions,” he added. — DayakDaily