Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Traditional Costume of the Bajau

The Bajau people are well known for the weaving and needlework skills. The Bajau women of Kota Belud make embroidered panels sewn into their long black wrap-skirt.  The Bajau and Iranun of Kota Belud weave the traditional headgear called kain dastar which is also worn by almost every indigenous group in Sabah. 

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Costume of Women

badu sipak    Brightly coloured satiny blouse, usually yellow. The flared sleeves show the cuffs of an underblouse in contrasting hue. The flared sleeves are two inches longer than the out-stretched arms and hands. Used for weddings. Betawi buttons in front, sometimes also on the sleeves.

badu sampit    Brightly coloured long-sleeved satiny blouse, used for formal occasions.

kain mogah    Long handwoven wrap-skirt, with horizontal stripes, usually red and black, with supplementary weft motifs. Worn at weddings.

olos berangkit    Full-length black wrap-skirt with a wide vertical panel of berangkit in front. The motifs are stylised: bunga kapas (cotton flower) and pucak rebung (bamboo shoot). This exclusive wedding garment has become very rare nowadays.

selendang         Scarf over the shoulders.


mandapun         Flat cloth-covered collar-ornament accentuating the neckline decorated with stylized leaves in silver, goldleaf or substitute.

sarempak         Two-piece head decoration in the shape of a ship made of gilded silver or modern substitute. Small ornaments dangling down from both ends are called garigai. The ornament is fitted around the hairbun on top of the head, three fingers away from the hairline.

galang             Silver bangles.

subang             old or silver ear pendants.

keku             Long tapered, gold, silver or brass fingercovers worn by the bride.

ingkot pangkat     Lat Silver coin belt with a wide buckle.

Costume of Men

badu             Brightly coloured satiny blouse, usually green, with flared sleeves showing cuffs of underblouse in contrasting hue. The flared sleeves are two inches longer than the out-stretched arms and hands. Used for weddings. Betawi buttons in front, sometimes also on the sleeves.

Suar             Trousers made of similar material in contrasting colour and red trimming. Black for weddings.

tanjak         Headdress of folded kain dastar (used for weddings). Podong, used by horseman.

ingkot pangkat    Silver coin belt with a wide buckle with an attachment called supu which is a round silver Bajau cigarette case.

selendang    Sash tied around the waist.

Notes: The name betawi may refer to Batavia, present Jakarta and the former capital of the Dutch Indies. Similar buttons were in fashion in the Netherlands and are still part of some Dutch traditional costumes.

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