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 Post subject: Three Borneo Museums
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
Posts: 155
Location: Beijing
Three new(ish) museums in Borneo worthy of a visit. None of these are well featured in guidebooks yet, so they are not yet getting the visitors they deserve.

1) Kapuas Raya Museum, near Sintang, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo)
A collaboration between the Kalimantan authorities and the Tropenmuseum, presenting lots of aspects of local culture, including a good display of weavings. Very good set of fairly recently made pua kumbu of high quality, and some older items donated by the Tropenmuseum and by the Kobus Foundation in Sintang. It's a half hour ride over a potholed road from Sintang but worth it!

2) New Textile Museum in Kuching (Malaysian Borneo)
I am not even sure what the official title of this one is, but it is very new (parts still under construction) and is located just opposite Harmony Arch at the western end of Jl Carpenter. There are displays of Iban, Malay and Chinese textiles. The ikat was nice (but did not blow my socks off), but there are some excellent Iban beaded textiles and some good Malay cloths with lots of gold thread. It's also a good overview of Borneo textiles generally. Seems like the textiles that used to be in the nearby general ethnographic museum are now housed here.

3) Tun Jugah Foundation Museum in Kuching
This one houses the collection of the late Datin Amar Margaret Linggi. It is mainly a collection of large pua kumbu from Ms Linggi's family and relatives, and these ikats certainly did blow my socks off. Both the ikats and sungkit are superb and they are also well displayed. It is worth taking the time to pull out the sliding display cases and enjoy the whole display. There is also a whole gallery devoted to beads and several cases full of Chinese trade ceramics (few labels on those though). Many will know the book "Ties that Bind, Iban Ikat Weaving" by Ms Linggi, which is basically a catalogue of the collection (though the photography in it does not do justice to the ikats in the museum). If that were not enough there is a weaving group based at the museum and on any weekday you can watch ladies weaving ikat and sungkit on the premises. I spent most of a morning there.

The museum is in an unlikely spot in the 4th floor of a shopping mall (Level 4, Tun Jungah Tower, 18 Jl Tunkuh Abdul Rahman), which perhaps explains why it seems to only get around 3-400 visitors a year. Deserves more.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:35 pm
Posts: 176
Location: east coast
There are also weaving instructions at the Tun Jugah Gallery that can be watched. Very fascinating. I made several short movies of the activities with my ditital camera. I will be returning next year and making more if I can because they are wonderful for illustrating talks I give on Borneo weaving and culture.

I am posting an ikat of mine which is very similar to one in the Tun Jugah. It would be fascinating to know more of their provenances because both were sold (one to me and one to the Tun Jugah) by the same great dealer in Kuching.

Kuching is one of my favorite cities.


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File comment: 74" x 33". Warp faced ikat. Handspun cotton, native dyes. Very similar to the one in the Tun Jugah Gallery and also in Margaret Linggi's "Ties that Bind". Described as a rare piece of High Category. Very unusual. Good condition. C
Iban pua.jpg
Iban pua.jpg [ 167.41 KiB | Viewed 2234 times ]

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