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Thursday, 6 December 2012

The look of Rawai Tinggi

Recently a friend of mine appraoched me via FaceBook asking whether I can feature his collection of ngepan Indu Iban. I said why not?

Josh Angga, a Saratok guy based in Kuching, has the hobby of collecting ngepan Iban accessories just recently. Among his collections are featured here in this post. His collection was also featured at the Miss World Harvest Festival 2012 worn by Ms. Diana Kedeny.
Rawai tinggi with marek empang
Just with Rawai tinggi
Ms. Diana Kedeny in Josh's collection

There you go...Josh loves to share his knowledge about ngepan indu Iban with all of you who are interested.
You can always contact him at:

By the way he also has the hands for making marek empang too...will be on my next post...

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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sarawak Fashion Hi-Tea 2012 (17 November 2012)

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening" - Coco Chanel 

We got the chance to see the many talented Sarawakian designers display their creativity using Sarawak elements to their designs at the Sarawak Fashion Hi-Tea held on 17 November 2012 at the Concorde Hotel, Shah Alam.

Be it from the material (pua kumbu) to just having motifs of Sarawak I must say Sarawakian designers both senior and the newer ones really impressed me..

I loved looking at Von Jolly Couture's designs as he used Pua Kumbu as the main body of his creations.. Other designers were:

1) MO Studio
2) Erwan Asbor Collection
3) Q.Adamsha; and
4) Propaganda Boutique

Meanwhile, I also designed my own pua kumbu vest which is actually Baju burung (vest) worn by men. I tailored it to make it into a vest cinched on the waist to feature the "peplum" effect. 

Veeky's Design...

My favourite husband :)

With my niece Ms. Kymberly and Ms. Medeline Prada

With Committee Member Mr. Gilbert
Committee members Ms. Magdalene & Ms. Casey
One of the designers Von Jolly
With Panggau Singgai CEO Ms. Alvina

Dresses using pua kumbu by Von Jolly Couture

By MO Studio
With Ms Malaysia World 2011 Ms Chloe and Ms. Pamela Tam 1st runner up

There you go, first stint of Sarawak Fashion...I really hope that this to be an annual event, I'm sure there are many talented Sarawakians out there who are eager to show their designs. It is a great opportunity to show the world that Sarawakian designs do have potential.

Let's make Sarawak Fashion a trend, our culture, a way of life....

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Friday, 9 November 2012

Old Iban Ngepan Making Their Comeback

Thanks to Borneo Hornbill Festival the younger generation of Iban knows the existence of almost extinct ngepan Iban (Iban costume).
Now even the older generation begins to value of culture by sharing such information to the younger generation. In this post I would like to highlight the “comeback” of the old Iban ngepan. I guess old is the “in” thing at the moment as what people say that “Old is Gold”….
1)      Ngepan Rawai tinggi
     -   I realized the existence of this ngepan through my reading of books written by English writer, namely Rev. Edwin H. Gomes. This book enlightened me on the ngepan Iban worn by the women of Saribas tribe.

    -   The ngepan would consist of the rawai tinggi (high corset), kain kebat as the skirt (ikat technique pua kumbu which is made into a skirt) and other accessories like tumpa (bangles), lampit pirak (silver belts), sugu tinggi (the headgear made of silver) gerunchong kaki (anklets) etc. 

2)      Ngepan Marik / Ngepan Dujung Marik)
    -   The uniqueness of this ngepan is that from the material that makes the costume i.e. colourful glass beads for the “baju ujan” and also the head gear which is called dujung marik. In the olden days, ngepan Marik or some people would call ngepan dujung marik are meant for brides. The skirt is called kain buri/kain burik i.e. velvet sewn with cowrie shells into intricate and beautiful designs.   This ngepan was significant in Kapit area.

3)     Ngepan Lampit Tusu
     -   This ngepan is worn in the Batang Ai, Engkelili, Lubuk Antu area. It is called ngepan lampit tusu as the two silver belts or lampit pirak is worn cris-crossing the breasts. This ngepan is famous as it shows the beauty of silver accessories on an Iban women those days.

4)      Ngepan Ringgit
      -  Ngepan ringgit is worn in the Skrang area. The word “ringgit” means coins hence this ngepan is full of coins linked to each other to form a dress or part of a dress.

There you go the old ngepan making their comeback and I bet they will be here to stay if the younger generation relives the tradition and embrace them like water and air.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Culture Loving Friends of Borneo Hornbill Festival.....

The Culture Loving Friends of Borneo Hornbill Festival.....

Wow, it has been quite a while since I written something...been pretty busy..

I have many friends..but there are a few friends whom I got to know through my participation in the Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011..particularly Paren Nyawi, Ricky Kimwah, Robson Jelian, Delinda Griet and Stevie Sebol.

Each of them are culture loving in their own way, Paren for instance (top left picture) though he did not won the Keling title for BHF 2011, he used it as a stepping stone to promote Sarawak through many ways be it from him blogging activities, tv promotions, modelling and also roadshows throughout KL and Sarawak.

Next, Ricky Kimwah, or "cikgu Ricky" a Lunbawang chap who is never tired of finding his roots through his travelling in the rural Sarawak. Then as for Robson Jelian and Delinda Griet, bot of them are very talented in dancing particularly in Iban and Bidayuh traditional dance. Finally, my friend Stevie Sebol, a photographer, who potrays his Sabah culture in his photography.

There you go, a short stint on few of my friends who love their culture and I hope younger generation will always appreciate their roots as history makes who they are. You are the ones who will make your culture either "sync" or "swim" in this technology drived world.

Until we meet again... 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Who is the new Kumang Iban Borneo Hornbill Festival 2012?

The New Kumang Iban Borneo Hornbill Festival 2012 is......


Ms. Gloria Jimbai, a lass from Bintulu, Sarawak and also a Saratokian like myself...Here's Ms. Gloria Jimbai:
Her audition in Bintulu

Gloria in action

Me crowning the new Kumang Iban

Kumang Iban BHF 2012, 1st Runner -up Ms. Suzzy Ramli, 2nd Runner-up, Ms. Darwina

Wouldn't want to miss capturing the moment with Kumang Iban and Keling winners

Her photo shoot with Stevie Sebol

There you go...finally the wait is answered....can't wait for Borneo Hornbill Festival 2013. 


She was also Kumang Bintulu 2009


My wish to Gloria, all the best is all your future undertakings and make the best out of your new title as an Iban girl...remember your roots and portray Iban the best as you can...ooohhhaaa...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kumang Iban's Facebook Page

Hello there readers...

For the past few months eversince Kumang Gawai competitions being going on during the pre-Gawai period I was thinking it would be nice if I can put all the Kumang "Alumni" in compilation of albums according to district/division/State/National or other different competitions such as the Borneo Hornbill Festival and the Miss World Harvest Festival.
Basically this page will feature the many Iban beauties who have reigned as Kumang and their experiences and advise to the younger future Kumang hopefuls. Not only focusing on photos, this page will show the various accessories worn in a Kumang competition.

The cover page...

The album page..(will be updated with more compilation of photos).

Would love it so much if my Facebook friends can tag their collection of Kumang Gawai photos for this page's compilation from here we can see who's who in the Kumang arena and also the evolution of the ngepan indu Iban...Do help me ya :)
I hope I can reach out to the community on Kumang Iban through Facebook, the medium that almost everybody is addicted to.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Antin Pirak (Silver Stud Earring)

After searching high and low around Kuching town finally I found the silver stud earrings). 

" Kumang, the great beauty of all Iban goddesses, was the epitome of style and class. She only wore the kain kebat, rawai tinggi betating pirak and an elegant silver lampit belt, the sugu, a pair of stud ear-rings, silver necklaces and a complete set of tumpak pirak for the lower and upper arms. Maybe some feet bangles with tiny bells too. In her right hand a white lace handkerchief, in her left the silver buah pauh - her purse. And tucked discreetly in between her sanggul siput, a flower - the seri mua. "

*Note: this is the depiction of the English writer during the days of his stay with the Saribas tribe. It may differ from the Iban from other tribe. 

It is quite difficult for me to find this silver stud earrings and if there is it may not be a pair but I stroke jackpot and found two pair of silver stud earrings. It was said by the manager of the gallery that normally the silver works (mostly intricate ones) are made by the Chinese goldsmiths. He further told me and my brother that these pieces are quite old and could reached around a hundred years.

Stud no.1

Side view

Rear view

Stud No.2

Side view

Rear view
This pair is about the size of 
Malaysian 50 cent coin
The second stud is almost 
the size of a 20 cent coin
Close up view of the more intricate stud

The "fake" silver stud earrings 
in the middle
During the photoshoot at Taman Tasik Permaisuri
During the Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011
Due to the non-existent of the silver stud earrings during my quest to wear the almost authentic Ngepan Indu Saribas, I had to wear the "fake" silver stud bought at a local accessories store in Kuala Lumpur so as to look as close as to the original one. 

So there you go,silver stud earrings or what the Iban call antin pirak. For those who are interested there are still a few antin pirak available in Kuching, provided you have the will to look for it...

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