Friday, 13 October 2017

‘Branding Sarawak beads to give it cultural identity and value’

October 13, 2017

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 (first right) .
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 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.
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.

“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. -TheBorneoPost

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