The Bead Goes On


It is one thing to preserve traditional handicraft making, but ensuring that it thrives requires grit and dedication.

It was like entering a treasure cave when Litad Mulok finally let me into the small building located across from her house.

Arranged on long tables were thousands of loose beads in shiny shapes and colours, and many others strung into beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Nestled next to them were the traditional beaded headgear and belts worn by Lun Bawang women.

Overwhelmed, I almost forgot about Litad, who patiently waited for me as I ran my fingers through the beads and tried on the belts.

This small building is where ceramic beads are handmade by the Lun Bawang women of Long Tuma, a village near Lawas town in north Sarawak.

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