Sarawak Art Museum holds Gawai exhibition

KUCHING: The Sarawak Art Museum is holding the Gawai Exhibition 2011 to promote and educate visitors on the rich culture of the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu communities.

Themed ‘Gawai Customs and Traditions’, the exhibition will run until the end of June.

“Our main objective of this exhibition is to introduce the customs and traditions found during the Gawai celebration. Throughout the exhibition, we will also try to get ‘live’ cultural performances to celebrate Gawai until its closing ‘Ngulung Tikai’ celebration,” said Sarawak Museum acting director Dr Charles Leh when officiating at the opening on Tuesday.

“These exhibits would focus on promoting the true meaning of the Gawai Dayak celebration to locals and foreign visitors alike.”

He was representing Sarawak Museum department director Ipoi Datan.

Through the years, he said, the Sarawak Museum had worked hard to document the different Gawai of the state’s various ethnic groups.

“As custodian of our rich culture, protected under the Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 1993, we are tasked with keeping our oral tradition and material culture intact, not only in the storage of the museum but also in practice.

“We are organising many topical exhibitions from this year onwards to showcase our rich heritage.

“We have the responsibility to educate our visitors on the spirit of our heritage through lively exhibitions,” he added.

Future exhibitions include Treasures of Batang Sadong and Persona Manik Se-Borneo in July, Ramadan and Aidilfitri in August and The Art of Chinese Tea in September.

The Centenary of Sarawak Museum Journal (1911 to 2011) will be in October, while November and December would see the Crocodile Effigies (Ulung Buayeh) and Fossils from the Sea exhibitions respectively.

The Art Museum is open daily, except during certain public holidays, from 9am to 4.30pm.

For more information, contact 082-244232.

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