Sabah and Sarawak Rattan Handicraft
The jungles of Malaysia are blessed with a variety of raw materials such as rattan and bamboo. Although 104 species from 8 generations grow throughout the country, only 20 of these species have any commercial potential. The larger types of rattan are usually used for furniture, while smaller, more delicate varieties are woven into all kinds of baskets. Bamboo plays an important role in local culture and art: there is a huge range of bamboo-based crafts such as all-purpose boxes, pencil holders and furniture.
In the beginning, bamboo was only used to satisfy everyday needs. Its uses then diversified and bamboo crafts have flourished right up to the present. The outstanding value of this craft has been clearly demonstrated by the acceptance of bamboo and rattan as the main raw materials for furniture.
In order to fulfill market demand, creators of this craft have begun to diversify their style and increase the range of bamboo and rattan products that is cut, lather, smoothed and shaped according to the required design has given rise to bamboo carvings-a most appealing handicraft which is now a specialty of Sarawak.