Siling revived by enthusiastic artisans
Theodora (upper left), Mohd (upper right), Ripkah (left), Robson (middle), Bronsonica (right).
18 November 2023
KOTA KINABLAU: Local native lace, known as "siling," is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, fueled by the enthusiasm of 50 participants gathered at the Workshop on traditional siling embroidery
Held at SIDMA college here today, the workshop was organised by the Unduk Ngadau Sabah Association (UNS) and launched by the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Datuk Ewon Benedick, who is also the Penampang Member of Parliament.
Participant Theodora Majit, 31, from Kg Kibbas Ranau shared that she is very enthusiastic about the programme as she wants to have the skills to create a lace that is traditional.
She is very interested in acquiring the skills necessary to create traditional lace as she believes that handmade laces or siling holds great value and authenticity.
“I want to expand my knowledge of lace-making and apply this timeless craft to my future fashion endeavors. I want to master the intricate techniques that will enable me to incorporate lace in a way that make my creations unique,” she shared.
As a devoted single mother raising two children, Theodora sees the potential in passing down this precious knowledge to her offspring if they share her passion for lace-making.
With her sights set on the future, Theodora envisions establishing her own business, one that showcases her exquisite creations and serves as cherished souvenirs for others to treasure.
For Mohd Azahari Ajit, 28, from Kg Binunuk Beaufort, the significance of learning to make the siling extends far beyond the creation of something visually appealing. It is an opportunity for him to delve into his cultural identity and connect with his roots. He has a Kadazan mother and a Lundayeh father, and while he is familiar with his mother's traditional attire, he is particularly intrigued by the usage of siling and its impact on the overall dress.
He is eager to understand the motifs as he believes that acquiring knowledge about the creation of siling is essential in understanding his cultural heritage. His hope for the future is that he can impart his newfound expertise through workshops, ensuring that the legacy of siling-making continues to thrive and resonate with others who share his passion for cultural preservation.
Driven by a sense of pride and a desire to contribute to the preservation of his heritage, Mohd sees the exploration of siling-making as an opportunity to further enrich his understanding of his own background. Through his dedication and commitment, he aims to not only master the art of creating siling but also to inspire others to embrace and celebrate their cultural identities.
Ripkah Anthony, a 45-year-old resident of kg Ulu Bole Sipitang, firmly believes that possessing the skill to create siling using traditional methods is an admirable pursuit. To her, learning about siling-making represents more than just acquiring knowledge but also it embodies the preservation of tradition and heritage. With a vision for the future, she aspires to transform this knowledge into an income-generating venture.
Her passion lies in applying the art of siling to traditional attire, particularly for individuals who seek an authentic and beautiful finish that can only be achieved through handmade siling, as opposed to store-bought alternatives. She envisions a future where she can contribute to the preservation of cultural craftsmanship by incorporating her mastery of siling into traditional garments.
Despite currently being employed in an office job, Ripkah remains dedicated to her pursuit of learning about laces used in traditional clothing. She sees this as a stepping stone towards her entrepreneurial venture, which she intends to embark upon after retiring from her current occupation. She wants to utilise her skills and passion for siling to create a business venture then.
Bronsonica Maria Baslius, 26 from Kg Kolopis Penampang is passionate about learning how to make siling as it is part of her traditional heritage. She said she has learnt how to make Linangkit which is alos a form of lace, traditionally used by the Kadazandusun people on their traditional attire. The gold laces lend elegance in all the array of attire used by the people of North Borneo.
She wants siling to be one of her business items in future with hope that they may adorn some Beauty Queen’s dress in future.
Robson Cliff Ridin, a 22-year-old graduate of GiatMara in fashion and dressmaking, hails from Kg Takapain Membakut. With a passion for the fashion industry, Robson is thrilled about the opportunity to participate in the workshop, as he is eager to expand his knowledge and skills in this field. He recognizes the importance of continuous learning and aims to acquire as much expertise as possible in the fashion sector.
Robson has a dream of establishing his own dress shop one day, showcasing his unique brand and creations. His ultimate goal is to offer a wide range of attire that exudes individuality and sets new trends in the fashion world. While he has already learned the art of making sigar, or headdresses, Robson yearns to further enhance his skills by diving deeper into various aspects of fashion.
Understanding the significance of preserving traditional skills, Robson believes that knowledge is the key to upholding and safeguarding these invaluable techniques. With his dedication to the craft, he is ready to impart his knowledge to others if the opportunity arises. Robson is enthusiastic which may make him an entrepreneur who will make his mark in the fashion industry while contributing to the preservation of traditional arts and skills.