Miri Handicraft Center
UPDATE 2016 - Handicraft Center Moved
The Handicraft Center stalls and its cafe have all been moved to High Street in the Old Town area temporarily while the old building was being renovated. Map just below reflects new, temporary location.
Miri Handicraft Center is situated at Raja Road. This center has various traditional handicrafts and pottery on display and for sale at the center and is a showcase of ethnic arts and crafts of northern Sarawak. Stalls are run by individual producers and craftspeople. Artwork such as paintings are also its main attraction. Visitors are welcome to know more about our local cultures and browse through the many hand-made crafts & souvenirs home. Cultural performances are occasionally held.
Waving & Basketry
Palm, rattan, tree barks, bamboo and various other plants gathered from the forests are woven into works of art by the many tribal community here. The Bidayuh are famous for their 'kesah' mats, stoutly woven from rattan and beaten tree bark while the Melanaus and Malays are well known for using the leaves of sago, pendanus and palms to make intricately plaited baskets, colorful mats, hats and home decorative items. And, the Ibans weave intricate arrowroot patterned mats which show up only in oblique light.
Iban women are among the finest weavers of the Pua Kumbu, a textile twisted or 'ikat', tie-dyed and skilfully woven on the backstrap loom. The technique is passed from generation to generation with many of the designs/patterns weaved from memory. An experienced weaver will need an inspirational dream to create a new design.
Family run pottery kilns produce beautiful and uniquely handcrafted decorative and functional earthenware.
The Orang Ulu ladies are the artisans of this fine craft. In their possession are antique necklaces, headgears and baby carriers which include rare beads from China, Venice and the Middle East, pointing to a trading culture that goes back centuries ago. Whilst having used these ancient beads for trading in the early days, this ancient art is experiencing a revival and now they make ceramic beads for their traditional costumes and for trading.