Big demand for ethnic costumes
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