Traditional Sabahan Hats Handicraft
Shapes of native hats and the patterns on them can immediately show from which areas they originate. The natives of Papar make hats which are steeply conical and have nature-derived designs on them. Murut hats woven from strips of sombituon bamboo are hexagonal in shape with three bands of patterned weaving. Hats from Penampang and Tuaran have wider circular bases with geometrical designs.
All these hats are crafted from bamboo and rattan strips, and the red and black colours of the patterns are usually natural dyes-red from the mengkudu root or "dragon's blood" which is obtained from the fruit of a climbing rattan, and black from the leaves and stalk of the indigo plant. Muruts from the Nabawan area are now reproducing their hats in scaled-down sizes, showing their skill and craftsmanship in the extremely delicate weaving.