Pilih Bahasa

Another succesful community-driven handicraft market by Rasa Ria

By Alfred Petrus

TUARAN: Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa brought together Sabah indigenous handcrafters and local artisans to showcase yet another indigenous Sabahan handicraft market for a corporate incentive event for nearly 800 Chinese top-sellers for Pearlosophy, a Shanghai-based skincare brand founded in 2015.

This is the second time a community-driven handicraft market was organised at Rasa Ria. This comes at the foot heel of the remarkable success of the first Sabah handicraft market last April.

One of the handicraft vendors. SNT Pix/Alfred Petrus

“We are incredibly thrilled that Rasa Ria is now cementing its status as the first organisation in creating MICE initiatives of this scale that supports the indigenous people of Sabah,” said the Resort’s General Manager, Fiona Hagan.

“We are delighted to see Pearlosophy, an organisation from China actively involved in supporting the livelihoods of the local community.

Hagan (red shirt) making her rounds at the handicraft market. SNT Pix/Alfred Petrus

“We are grateful to see the passion of Pearlosophy in supporting the outreach programme that aims to help improve the livelihood of the local community,” said Fiona Hagan, the resort’s general manager,” she said.

In addition, Hagan said, they are fortunate that Pacos Trust has helped them in putting together this indigenous community market.

“We believe it is important for organisations to help support communities positively and, at Rasa Ria, we will continue to do so,” she said.

Some of the handicrafts being sold at the market. SNT Pix/Alfred Petrus

For record, a number of handicrafts came from different Community Learning Centres (CLC).

These CLC’s were located in a few villages along the west coast of Sabah.

The population of these villages range from 200 to 1,000. The people here belong to the indigenous tribes of Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh and Murut.

Handicraft making is an additional source of livelihood, apart from farming. For around 25 years, Pacos Trust has been actively involved in supporting these indigenous communities.

One of the featured community is the Rungus, from the Northern part of Sabah. The Rungus have been known to produce beautiful beaded necklaces. Patterns on the strands of beads usually tell ancient stories.

The human figures are picked out in bright hues in the beadwork. They also specialise in making ‘renago’, which is a type of woven basket and tray.

Materials involved are usually rattan. The coil is made from ‘lias’ a type of local plant. Not all the local materials used are treated with dyes but maintain their natural fine glossy finish.

It will normally take a day to finish one renago baskets. Handicraft making is the only source of income for the women in this community. -SabahNewsToday