‘Brand­ing S’wak beads to give it cul­tural iden­tity and value’

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­fred Pilo re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

KUCHING: Beads from Sarawak should be branded as ‘ Sarawak Bead’ in or­der to give the beau­ti­ful crafted or­na­ments a recog­ni­tion es­pe­cially its cul­tural iden­tity and ori­gin.

Min­is­ter of Tourism, Arts, Cul­ture, Youth and Sports Datuk Ab­dul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that with proper brand­ing and iden­tity, Sarawak beads would have more value and be­come more pre­cious hand­crafted or­na­ment.

“This will not only be re­ward­ing to all bead mak­ers and work­ers in the state but also recog­ni­tion of their hand­i­craft work which not many can do,” he said be­fore of­fi­ci­at­ing the 5th Bor­neo In­ter­na­tional Beads Con­fer­ence ( BIBCO) 2017 at The Water­front Ho­tel Kuching yes­ter­day.

“By brand­ing a prod­uct, peo­ple will want to know more of its ori­gin and his­tory which re­lates to cul­ture and arts of a cer­tain coun­try. This is good for Sarawak and our bead mak­ers,” he added.

Ab­dul Karim said he had very lit­tle knowl­edge of bead but from his ex­pe­ri­ence while vis­it­ing other coun­tries, he was sur­prised how a bead can be very costly yet very or­di­nary.

This will not only be re­ward­ing to all bead mak­ers and work­ers in the state but also recog­ni­tion of their hand­i­craft work which not many can do. Datuk Ab­dul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Min­is­ter of Tourism, Arts, Cul­ture, Youth and Sports

“That is why brand­ing is very im­por­tant for a prod­uct and from there, we can carve out a niche mar­ket for our many dif­fer­ent de­signs of bead. This is what mar­ket­ing is all about,” he opined.

He said vis­i­tors es­pe­cially tourists will have no sec­ond thought about buy­ing beads if they know that the beads are valu­able and have a place in the so­ci­ety.

“With proper brand­ing and good mar­ket­ing our beads will have a fu­ture and a place in the world mar­ket.This is good for our beads mak­ers and their busi­ness,”, he said.

Ear­lier, the di­rec­tor of BIBCO Heidi Mu­nan said the aim of the con­fer­ence was to bring in­dige­nous bead artists to be in touch with ar­ti­sans and de­sign­ers from the other parts of the world.

“This is how we learn to im­prove our own prod­ucts in bead-work­ing or bead mak­ing. And for our for­eign guests, they in turn will go home with some fresh ideas, de­rived from the great Bor­neo bead tra­di­tions, she said.

In­vited speak­ers at the con­fer­ence were An Jia Yao ( China) Bun­char Pong­panich ( Thai­land) Dora Jok ( Sarawak) Em­manuel Osakue ( Nige­ria) Floor Kaspers (Nether­lands) John Mik­sic ( Sin­ga­pore) Mar­garet Mueller (Aus­tralia) Mar­ilee Wood ( USA) and Pam An­nes­ley (Aus­tralia).

The con­fer­ence from Oct 13-15 is be­ing at­tended by in­ter­na­tional bead schol­ars, col­lec­tors, de­sign­ers, bead work­ers and bead mak­ers.

BIBCO 2017 is or­gan­ised by Crafthub Sdn Bhd.

Ab­dul Karim (sec­ond left) ad­mir­ing the bead neck­lace at a booth of BIBCO 2017. With him are Heidi ( first left) his wife Zu­raini Ab­dul Jab­bar (cen­tre), guest of BIBCO 2017 Dato Wee Hong Seng (sec­ond right) and Crafthub Sdn Bhd di­rec­tor Rose­marie Wong...

— Pho­tos by Chi­mon Upon.

Ab­dul Karim sec­ond row (fifth left), his wife Zu­raini Ab­dul Jab­bar (fourth left) and Heidi (fifth right) pos­ing with BIBCO 2017 guests and speak­ers of the con­fer­ence held at Water­front Ho­tel Kuching.

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