Sarawak Woodcarvings

Woodcarving is one of the bastions of Sarawak handicrafts, and you can find anything from stylishly crafted Kayan and Kenyah wooden spoons to ten-foot-tall guardian figures crafted from solid belian (ironwood).

Amongst the more popular items are elaborately decorated wooden bowls; Iban hunting and trapping charms with small hunched figures carved on the end of a long spike; all kinds of ritual masks; Melanau sickness figures (blum) used to cast away illnesses in healing ceremonies; entire longhouse doors carved from a slab of hardwood; blowpipes that can kill a wild pig (or a person) at 100 m; and the ornately carved and painted hornbill figures used by the Ibans for celebrating Gawai Kenyalang, the hornbill festival.

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