By Nur Filzah Jamjam
Buayan: 20-26th June 2013
This workshop, led by weaving expert Joiwit from Buayan, began making woven bamboo building components for a Community Bio-cultural Heritage Centre in the Ulu Papar region of Sabah. The workshop was coordinated by Arkitrek and Global Diversity Foundation.
Joiwit introduced a selection of weaving patterns to learn throughout the workshop. Representatives of the community gathered in the balai raya (community hall) to try out the patterns with coloured paper first. Next, participants were given 2 hours to go harvesting bamboo, after which the weaving lesson started with a pattern named ‘Minangulop’.
Everyone worked on a standard panel size of 2feet x 3feet and by the end the day each had a half-completed panel.
Workshop on day two had new participants arrive and some of them used polypropylene straps for practice. Later after lunch Joiwit introduced a new pattern which is perforated and suitable for blinds.
The day two went smoothly where everybody tried to finish their panel. By the end of the day, two panels were finished.
On the last day, 23rd June, the agenda was to finish all the patterns and then learn to make a frame from bamboo tied with rattan. We also had new participants from another nearby village in the Ulu Papar area named Tiku.
After the end of the workshop everyone was keen to continue on their own to finish the panel. An extra day was needed to dry the bamboo used for framing and to fully complete the panel.
To put in a nut shell, the workshop went well and got positive feedback from the community. They enjoyed learning new patterns from each other and are motivated to develop this as an enterprise opportunity. They also started to imagine the weavings being used on the proposed Bio-cultural Centre building and are looking forward to the project.