Sarawak is well-known for its ethnic diversity – there are over 28 different ethnic groups in the region. Each has its own language, history and cultural significance. This diverse heritage means that the area has a rich tradition of arts and crafts. From bead work and textiles to wood carving and the weaving of rattan and bamboo. This cornucopia of local hand crafted items has ensured that traditions are handed down from generation to generation. The skills, talent and heritage of the people of Sarawak will never be lost.
The Sarawak Craft Council
The Sarawak Arts Council was established to promote the ethnic crafts from the region as well as to document and preserve the skills of the local artisans, which are threatened by the rush of modernity. The council plays an important role in ensuring that crafts people living in rural and often remote areas are rewarded for their artistic skill and often, are able to ensure a sustainable second income to help support their families. The Council's showroom is open to the public during the week, and is located at the Round Tower in Kuching.
Festivals to Showcase Sarawak Crafts and Art
There are a number of festivals each year, held to promote local arts and artisans. The World Harvest Festival is an annual event, taking place at the Sarawak Cultural Village. The festival is more than a place to display the wonderful crafts from the region: it is also a celebration of the different cultures in Sarawak and an opportunity to share knowledge, skills and traditions with a broader audience. Many of the different ethnic groups showcase their talents and skills in workshops and classes. In 2016, the World Harvest Festival will be taking place on the 29 April-1 May. It's a phenomenal way to really experience the culture of this region, and understand the different cultural traditions and the history of Sarawak.