Although the COVID-19 pandemic may impact on our ability to celebrate festivals in the traditional manner, it presents an opportunity to commemorate the kinships and friendships that often underpin the celebration of such events. This year, as the traditional ngabang ('open house') takes on a much more subdued atmosphere, we take this opportunity of Gawai Dayak 2020 to remember the deep friendships that Rajah Charles Brooke formed with the Iban and Bidayuh Dayak communities during his reign.
The photo is of an exquisite pua gifted to Trust Director Jason Brooke in 2013 by a Friend of the Trust Jacob Emang, in appreciation of Rajah Charles' friendship with his ancestors. This beautiful example of Iban traditional arts is over 100 years.
Weaving pua is a revered art form and a cherished cultural practice in the Iban community. With a key part of the Trust's mission to preserve traditional arts and encourage the practice of bygone skills, Jason Brooke is honoured to be gifted this pua with all its meaning attached.