Big de­mand for eth­nic cos­tumes

New Straits Times - - News -

KENINGAU: At this time of the year, Mohd Azrul Fildza Ab­dul­lah’s bou­tique here is a hive of ac­tiv­ity as he and his wife race against time to meet the nu­mer­ous or­ders for hand-stitched eth­nic cos­tumes.

“This is a busy time for me as I’ve to ful­fil all the or­ders for Kaa­matan,” said Azrul Fildza, 41, at his small bou­tique, Azma Trad­ing, which he runs with his 36year-old wife Fatma Zainal.

Azrul Fildza, a Kadazan, has been re­ceiv­ing or­ders for the tra­di­tional gar­ments since last month.

“I‘ve stopped tak­ing new or­ders be­cause these clothes have to be sewn with great pre­ci­sion. Some eth­nic clothes are quite te­dious to sew. In fact, it may take me two or three months to com­plete one set,” he said.

The tra­di­tional out­fit worn by the Kadazans in Pe­nam­pang, also known as the sinom­bi­aka, was eas­ier to sew, he said, adding that he and his wife could com­plete three to five sets a day.

“For the sinom­bi­aka, we just have to add gold-coloured and red-lace trim­mings to the clothes. In con­trast, the Tin­dal (a Dusun sub-eth­nic group) peo­ple hail­ing from Kota Be­lud have in­tri­cate cos­tumes which take two to three months to com­plete as they re­quire em­broi­dered mo­tifs,” said Azrul Fildza.

The Tin­dal’s cos­tumes, he added, looked more vi­brant as they were adorned with red and yel­low se­quins and gold-coloured but­tons.

Azma Trad­ing has earned a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best sup­pli­ers of eth­nic gar­ments.

“Sev­eral cus­tomers work­ing in coun­tries like Ja­pan and Aus­tralia have or­dered clothes from us through Facebook and In­sta­gram,” he said.

The bou­tique also of­fers readyto-wear cos­tumes, priced be­tween RM300 and RM2,000.

Also avail­able are tra­di­tional ac­ces­sories like the him­pogot, Mu­rut head­gear and tangkong, which is a belt con­sist­ing of nu­mer­ous brass rings strung to­gether by rat­tan and worn by Kadazan­dusun women.

Cus­tomers can also rent the clothes and ac­ces­sories for RM80. Ber­nama

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