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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Keligit Orang Ulu Borneo Hornbill Festival

Who will be the next Keligit Orang Ulu?
Known for their sape music and lovely comes the Orang Ulu Beauty..or known as Keligit.

Let us flashback on Keligit Orang Ulu Borneo Hornbill Festival 2009, 2010 and 2011:

Stay tuned for Bidayuh and Keling.....

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Kumang Iban Borneo Hornbill Festival

Who will be crowned as  Kumang Iban BHF 2012?

I am sure that this year's competition will have that extra edge particularly when the past two years' ngepan kumang showed its originality and uniqueness. Participants will need to put extra mile on their research in order to find the right costume be shown to the world plus a vast knowledge in culture and current news.

As for me, it would be my moment to pass the Kumang title to the future Kumang. It is my hope to see someone who loves her culture, poised character and knowledgeable as the next Kumang Iban Borneo Hornbill Festival this 2012.
Below is the Kumang Iban BHF roll:

All the best my future Kumangs.

Lots of Love, 
Veeky-Leonora Andria

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Old Ngepan Iban

My first handmade Iban ngepan accessories is burai lumit. It is worn around the waist and very noisy because of the bells attached to the ends of the beaded strings. The materials consist of coloured beads (mine is the second smallest sized beads), frog bells (extra large and large), Burmese jade (dark green), fire agate (dark brown), nylon string, and thread.
This may not be an original Saribas accessory but for me it complements well with the whole costume. 
It took me about three months to complete this accessory to replace the one that I used to wear from my friend's gallery. I want to wear the one made by myself on my wedding day at least it will have a sentimental value attached to it apart from being made with my own hands.
This is my completed burai lumit:

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Jamu Kaplet Perawatan Wanita Mustika Ratu


The Indonesian women have been taking Jamu for decades in order to keep themselves healthy, beautiful and youthful. Among the the preparations that I took upon is taking jamu in caplet form. It is Kaplet Perawatan Wanita Mustika Ratu. A box contains 28 caplets that is taken daily based on the type of jamu for different days. The jamu is divided into 4 types:

a) Mimilan Mintuno (to be taken Mondays and Thursday)
    - to maintain body health and help relief of vaginal discharge.
b) Pare Anom (to be taken Tuesdays and Fridays)
    - also to maintain body fitness and promote younger looking   skin.
c) Ratu Ayu (to be taken Wednesdays and Saturdays)
    - to maintain skin health and body freshness.

d) Sari Asih (to be taken on Sundays)
    - to maintain stamina and reduce fatigue.

Like myself not possessing natural beauty, I will do whatever I can in order to stay at least healthy. I have been taking this jamu for a month now and I can see that my skin is smoother and firmer. I'm taking this jamu to maintain my health towards my wedding day and so far I'm happy with the outcome. However, do not expect miracle and fast results with jamu. However, do consult your doctor before taking jamu especially is have other health complications and do not take this jamu if you are pregnant. And one more drink loads of water when taking jamu, kinda heaty...

Iban Warriors

Iban Warriors

Today's post is mainly photos of Iban warriors of the yesteryear..all of the photographs are from the internet which shows the many different styles of male Iban ngepan. 
Some of Iban experts say the costume likewise for Iban women varies from one district to another. While having different styles some also explained that the difference in the costumes depends on how rich the family was, hence more accessories.
They (the costumes) also differs as having influences from different ethnic, for example from the orang Ulu ethnic.

From the Batang Ai district

Layar district


Iban chieftain

Young Iban   

Some of the guidelines used for Keling Gawai judging:

Picture courtesy from
There you go...ngepan Laki Iban for you.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Iban Dancers in Batik Painting

One man's junk can be another man's treasure...

Well in my case it would be a woman's treasure. Yesterday my fiance surprised me with a painting, not just any painting, but a painting of Iban dancers. The painting was bound for the dumpster at his Panasonic office until he rescued it. Let's have a look at the painting..                                                                                               

The vintage painting

This batik painting was painted by Mr. Ismail Mat Hussin (his biodata)

Mr Ismail Mat Hussin
Ismail Mat Hussin is today said to be Malaysia’s most senior living master of batik painting. Born in Pantai Sabak, Kota Bharu, Kelantan in 1938, he developed an interest in painting at 12. He took up weekly art painting classes at Padang Garong Malay School under the tutelage of Cikgu Nik Mahmood between 1954 and 1955.
His creativity was further enhanced through music. He took up the violin in 1962 and obtained a Grade V certificate in the instrument from The Royal School of Music London. Being able to play a musical instrument allowed him to sustain his creative interest in painting. As well, he was able to support himself by becoming a part-time musician with Radio Televisyen Malaysia Kota Bharu.
Three years later, in 1968, he took the plunge and took up painting full-time. At that time, experimentation with batik painting among artists in Malaysia was building strongly. Ismail’s mentor was Khalil Ibrahim. Ismail became very good at batik painting, having patience in spades and an innate talent for combining warm tones and earthy hues from a restricted palette of colours to depict everyday rural scenes with lively good humour.
Khalil was trained in rendering human figures and Ismail followed suit, but he did not embrace Khalil’s lightly stylised depiction of them. Looking at Ismail’s batik paintings, one sees real-looking people rather than the doll-like figures that Chuah favoured. To draw them into the spotlight Khalil tends to juxtapose the figures against vibrant solid colours whereas Ismail dulls the background surroundings.
Ismail’s trademark is heavy limbs with the muscles rendered mosaic-like on every part of the body that is visible. In outlining the muscles, Khalil’s influence can be seen but Khalil does not “break” the muscles into pieces. Languid postures and fluidity in the movements of the figures is apparent in the works of both Khalil and Ismail. Recently, KL Lifestyle Art Space sent Ismail a photograph of his batik painting “Playing Gasing” (1982). Ismail told us that it was Khalil Ibrahim’s painting. KL Lifestyle Art Space had to send Ismail a photograph of his signature on “Playing Gasing” before he would acknowledge that the painting was his!
Ismail’s batik paintings may be found in the art collections of the National Art Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Petronas, Bank Negara Malaysia, ESSO Malaysia and Maybank among others, including a clutch full of notable individuals. They include N.A. Rahman, Tan Sri Abdullah Ayob, Muhammad Haji Saleh and Tan Sri Eric Chia.
For a short spell in the 1990s, Ismail also worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for the Kota Bharu-based Syarikat Percetakan Dian. He has created a MAS-TDC calendar for Malaysia Airlines and the Tourist Development Corporation, designed playing cards for Malaysia Airlines and been featured in an ESSO advertisement.
Taken from KL Gallery website 
Until now I am still wondering when was the painting created...I must say it is vintage, though initially it was a junk, now it's a treasure to me...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sugu Tinggi

Sugu Tinggi
If you were to ask me what would be my favourite accessories in a ngepan, my answer would be sugu tinggi. A sugu tinggi is the headdress that adorns the Kumang. There are many types of sugu tinggi, the prized ones are made of silver, cheaper ones made of aluminum or even aluminum plated with silver. 

A sugu tinggi can also come in many sizes (which my photos will show you). Nowadays it is difficult to find silver sugu tinggi and many are made of aluminum plated with silver and the carvings are not as intricate as the original silver sugu.Now let us browse through the sugu tinggi (photos are courtesy of the internet, friends and also my own):

The tallest sugu I have ever mum's

Well, I'll upload more sugu pictures for this post soon...until the next post ya!

13 March 2012

More sugu photos taken from goldsmiths in Betong area..price is negotiable..

Sugu 1: My friend Sanddy Ngu's sugu

Sugu 2: I call this one sugu Kenyalang
because the main
and side "cucuk" has the hornbill head
Sugu 3: People say this is
sugu belimbing because the
"cucuk" looks like starfruit

Sugu 4: Belongs to Datin Senorita Linang
                                      Sugu 5: Barbara Jabu..daughter on Tan Sri Jabu's sugu...

Sugu 6: Sugu bungai Ikan (Fish)

Sugu 7

Sugu 8

Monday, 6 February 2012

Rawai Tinggi

Rawai Tinggi Revisited

Some of you might wonder what is a rawai? Basically rawai is a corset and traditionally for the Iban tribe rawai is either made of silver or brass. Rawai can be classified into different sizes too mainly rawai pandak (low corset) and rawai tinggi (high corset).

The rawai that I used for Borneo Hornbill Festival was Rawai Tinggi made of brass and rattan. It measures from chest to waist and weighs around 4 kilos without being adorned with other accessories. At the moment my rawai is being repaired and for today's post it would feature the processes that you can see in repairing a rawai.

I have my brother to repair the rawai and it is a very tedious work indeed, from thinning the rattan strips, to measuring each levels of the brass rings, taking out the brass rings to replace the new rattan strips etc. Rather than explaining the process in writing, let us view the photos, hope they might help:
the tools and materials
rawai pandak as the "donor"
 * a donor is used to replace the insufficient brass rings of my rawai tinggi.

brass rings from the donor

rattan strips

stainless steel strips
you measure
insert the brass rings to the new rattan strips
make sure you clip the ends
put back the new brass strips

Can't wait for my reinforced rawai tinggi..hope to wear it for my wedding...until we meet again in different post.

Iban Culture Loving Friends - Part 1

Borneo Culture Loving Friends
Part 1 (My Best Friend, Susan Leo)

Wow, it has been quite awhile...My first post for this year is a tribute to my friends who love culture, and for this post it will be my best friend, Susan Leo.
Ms. Susan Anak Leo
I have known Susan since end of 2000..we were classmates, housemates infact sisters..Susan is of Iban and Lunbawang descendant where her father is an Iban and her mother is Lunbawang..

One of the things that made me and Susan bond very well is that we share the same interest, Borneo culture..we have been introducing culture to our West Malaysian friends eversince university years..let the photos tell you...

taken during our English teacher's end semester party (we danced ngajat and sumazau)

Susan in action with her blowpipe during law conference

Susan in ngepan for her Iban ceremonial wedding

her pre-wedding photoshoot

Susan at another year's law conference

Susan as my Manager for Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011
I'm so proud of Susan especially having known her from her tomboy days and now a strong willed woman who is in touch with her culture. So readers...for me in order to love culture you must embrace the essence of culture which to be proud of it..I hope the younger generations do not forget our roots as history teaches us what we were and how to react to the future...