On 24 June 2016, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa brought together Sabah indigenous handcrafts and local artisans to showcase yet another indigenous Sabahan handicraft market for a corporate incentive event for nearly 800 Chinese top-sellers for Pearlosophy, a Shanghai-based skincare brand founded in 2015.
This is the second time a community-driven handicraft market was organised at Rasa Ria. This comes at the foot heel of the remarkable success of the first Sabah handicraft market last April. A number of handicrafts came from different Community Learning Centres (CLC) were located in a few villages along the west coast of Sabah.
The population of these villages range from 200 to 1,000. The people here belong to the indigenous tribes of Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh and Murut. Handicraft making is an additional source of livelihood, apart from farming. For around 25 years, Pacos Trust has been actively involved in supporting these indigenous communities.
One of the featured community is the Rungus, from the Northern part of Sabah. The Rungus have been known to produce beautiful beaded necklaces. Patterns on the strands of beads usually tell ancient stories. The human figures are picked out in bright hues in the bead-work. They also specialize in making ‘renago’, which is a type of woven basket and tray. Materials involved are usually rattan. The coil is made from ‘lias’ a type of local plant.
Besides that, this market also create a space for eco-social equality, Sabahan enterprise, fair trade, sustainable production and consumption, and celebration of innovation, the handmade, the simple and the beautiful. This will show the community dare to bare their creativity and curiosity.