Saturday, September 19

Juat carves belian stumps into hard cash

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Juat (right) and his son at their stall.

Juat (right) and his son at their stall.

SIBU: Belian tree stumps have become a new source of income for Juat Jawang from Rumah Michael, Nanga Strass in Bintangor.

It has only been two months since the self-taught wood carver ventured into the wood carving business.

However, it is proving not to be an obstacle as the 50-year-old just recently sold eight table sets made from belian stumps to a café owner in Sibu.

Each set is priced not less than RM400, he said when met by The Borneo Post at the Sibu Sunday Market in Mahsuri Road here yesterday.

“There is another booking to be fulfilled but it has to wait because I do not have the wood to carve at the moment,” he said.

Juat said he previously made belian posts for pepper cultivation but is now changing his focus to this new business because of the good demand.

“Belian is well-known as a tough wood and its quality which makes it last longer than any other wood,” he said, adding that the belian stumps are sourced from forests in Bintangor.

He said most of the time, he and a few longhouse residents had to go deep into the forest to look for the tree stumps.

“It has become scarce whereby sometimes we come back from the jungle with nothing,” he said.

Juat also sells chopping boards and decorative items made from belian at Sibu Sunday Market.

Additionally, he offers delivery services to customers in Sibu and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, the presence of traders occupying parking lots and open spaces behind buildings at Mahsuri Road here has turned the area into a lively attraction every Saturday and Sunday.

While the majority of the traders are Chinese, longhouse folk and villagers from nearby towns such as Bintangor, Kanowit and as far away as Daro are also present.

They sell a variety of items including fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, clothes, accessories, jewelleries, homemade cakes and other food as well as live poultry.