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Lawas Lun Bawang Artisans. Tang Itong Tree Bark Processing Village

Location : Kampung Tang Itong, Lawas District, Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Our first stop at Long Tuma to visit the bead making workshop turned out to be a disappointment as it was locked with no one around to ask or a notice at the door to let visitors know they were closed for the day. We later found out that the lady in charge was attending a wedding reception somewhere out of town. All we could see through the louver windows were a number of kilns for the firing of the hand painted ceramic beads. I remember how my friend Gerald Goh a ceramic expert from Kuching help kickstarted this bead production more than a decade ago.

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Lawas tourist attraction

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Junction to villages

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Long Tuma beads centre

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Bead making workshop

Kampung Long Tuma, village, handicrafts, artisan, backpackers, dayak, native, Orang Ulu, Lun Bawang Festival, Borneo, Lawas, Limbang, tourist attraction, travel guide, Manik Seramik,

Kilns of different shape and size

The Lun Bawang’s love for beads has always been well known but to produce their own beads is something never seen in other communities of Sarawak. Their ladies are always proudly adorned with beautiful glass beads from the headcaps to necklaces and bracelets. Antique beads are hard to come by these days. What we see nowadays are mostly replicas made in Gujarat India but they are just as beautiful. I remember meeting this guy from Bali at a hotel in Marudi some 20 years ago selling these Gujarati beads all over the interior of Sarawak. He made a killing, I am sure.

We left shortly for Tang Itong further down the same road where tree barks were turned into beautiful crafts by another Lun Bawang community.

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Kampung Tang Itong

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Tree bark factory at Tang Itong

Mr Suut and his son Johnny was at the factory to receive us. Suut wasted no time to demonstrate his magic by turning a branch of the terap or talon tree into a neat piece of beaten bark. He pounded, slit, split, rolled and more pounding and in less than 30 minutes was an amazing piece of processed bark. It needed to be further soaked in water and air dried before it could be made into shirt, purse or cowboy hat. Next……Penawan Waterfall.

Tree barks making

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First pounding to seperate the tree bark from the trunk

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Slitting the beaten bark

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Splitting and removing the outer layer. Only the smooth inner layer is used

Kampung Tang Itong, kulit kayu, handicrafts, Kraftangan Malaysia, artisan, authentic, backpackers, tribal, Dayak Lun Bawang, Borneo, Limbang, Tourism, traditional, travel guide, 婆罗洲, 原著民树皮工艺品

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Johnny helping his dad spin the press

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Thinning the bark with a press originally made for pressing rubber sheet #treebarkproducts

Kampung Tang Itong, kulit kayu, handicrafts, Kraftangan, Malaysia, authentic, culture, native, Orang Ulu, Lawas, Limbang, tourism, traditional, travel guide, 原著民树皮工艺品

After pressing the bark is further pounded into the right thickness

Tang Itong village, Kraftangan kulit kayu, handicrafts, Malaysia, artisan, culture, native, tribe, Dayak Lun Bawang, Orang Ulu, Lawas, Limbang, Tourist attraction, traditional, 老越砂拉越, 原著民树皮工艺品

Finished piece folded in halves, double its original size

village, kulit kayu topi, hats, Kraftangan Malaysia, authentic, dayak, native, Orang Ulu, tribal, Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival, Borneo, Sarawak, tourist attraction, traditional, travel guide, 婆罗洲树皮工艺品

Tang Itong village, tree bark factory, hats, Kraftangan Malaysia, artisan, native, Orang Ulu, tribe, Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival, Limbang, Tourism, traditional, travel guide, 砂拉越, 原著民树皮工艺品

Ms Sophia slowly getting the hat into shape with the ever reliable Singer sewing machine

Kampung Tang Itong, kulit kayu topi, Kraftangan Malaysia, authentic, dayak, native, Orang Ulu, tribe, Borneo, Lawas, tourism, traditional, travel guide, 老越砂拉越, 树皮工艺品

Kampung Tang Itong, tree bark crafts, hats, Kraftangan Malaysia, tribal, artisan, culture, native, Orang Ulu, tribe, Borneo, Sarawak, Tourism, traditional, travel guide, 原著民树皮工艺品

Finished product

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Tree bark painting

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Tarap / Terap tree

Marang tree, Tang Itong village, kulit kayu topi, tree bark crafts, handicrafts, hats, clothing, Kraftangan Malaysia, dayak, native, Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival, Lawas, Limbang, Tourism, travel guide, 老越砂拉越

Fruit of the terap tree where the branches are cut and made into tree bark

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