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 Leisure

Handicraft show a big draw

13th June, 2018

By ERSIE CHELL ANJUMIN

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysia Handicraft Promotion 2018 at Suria Sabah in Kota Kinabalu provides the opportunity for local handicraft operators to promote their handiwork to the public.

Local handicraft shows were usually associated with the Harvest Festival in May but the exhibition yesterday still attracted thousands of local and foreign visitors.

Among handicrafts showcased were traditional musical instruments, beads, rings, chains and bracelets and other accessories, carpets and baskets made out of natural resources like rattan and reeds.

A 46-year-old trader, Rosnih Apasain, told New Sabah Times that the exhibition does help her in promoting her products.

“I usually sell my handcraft at the Segama Bridge near KK Plaza… this event allowed me to sit at a more comfortable place to sell my products.

“The response is pretty good. There were so many people especially tourists coming here to shop in Suria Sabah and when they saw this exhibition, they will stop by and buy some handicraft as souvenirs,” she said.

Another trader, Kasing Singa said, she was so excited to join the exhibition to showcase her products from Sarawak.

Kasing who is from Lawas, Sarawak, travelled about three and a-half hours to Kota Kinabalu and stayed at a nearby hotel.

The Lun Bawang (a Murut sub-group) woman showcased her community’s traditional costumes and accessories. According to her, she started sewing ethnic costumes in Sarawak about 20 years ago after she realized that the skill was almost extinct.

“Previously, I ran this business on a part-time basis to earn additional income and only accepted orders from certain customers. However, the response I received has been very encouraging.

“So, now this is my full-time job and I’m so happy that nowadays more people appreciate and will pay for what’s handmade. Furthermore, exhibition like this really helps us to promote and sell our products,” she said, adding that she enjoys sharing her knowledge about her community.

Another exhibitor’s booth that attracted this writer was CF Custom & Jewellery which displayed Sabah’s traditional costumes and its accessories. It was thronged by enthusiastic crowd, many of them waiting patiently in line for the orders to be measured.

Sarah Magtortor, 52, said in between engaging with her customers that her reputation in the business had won her many customers, both local and foreigners, some of whom communicated with her through her Facebook account. “The demand for traditional costumes is higher during the festive season and that is why I fixed a timeframe to complete a pair of costume so that I could meet customers’ demand.

“For example, if I’m not busy I could complete a Penampang traditional costume in a day,” she said. She also added that as a tailor of traditional costumes, she needs to have intimate knowledge about the costumes associated with a particular ethnic group.

This is because, she said, each pattern symbolizes the identity of a particular ethnic group.

“When I received orders from foreign customers who wanted to make Sabah’s traditional wear that they loved, I will tell them about the costumes, how to use it, its origin as well as its accessories so that they have knowledge about it.

“During this exhibition, many people especially tourists came and expressed their interest in the traditional wear. It’s really good because we can promote Sabah’s culture to them,” she said. This 10-days exhibition ended today. It started on June 4.

   
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