BIBCO 2011 OPENING CEREMONY with Datuk Haji Talib bin Zulpilip, the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Sarawak. Photographs by the author.

Borneo International 2011

bead conference


The second Borneo International Beads Conference (BIBCo 2011) is now only a memory, but a very pleasant one. Held at the Grand Margherita Hotel in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, October 7-9, 2011, the conference attracted about one hundred participants from near and far. Organized under the direction of Heidi Munan of Crafthub, a nonprofit organization in Kuching which aims to promote and sell Sarawak handicrafts, its aim was to not only share bead knowledge and expertise with international scholars and researchers, but to also facilitate creative interaction between Sarawak’s artisans/designers and their international counterparts; preserve the Sarawak bead tradition in a commercially viable way; encourage the production of top-quality beads and beadwork in Sarawak; promote competent modern design in beads and beadwork; showcase Sarawakan bead culture to a regional/international audience; promote cultural tourism in Sarawak; and improve the earning power of home-based cottage workers in Sarawak.

A number of events took place during the three-day conference, most significant being the lecture program which included thirteen presentations by both Sarawakan and foreign individuals. The first session, Beads of Antiquity, began with the keynote address by Dr. Zuraina Majid-Lowe (Malaysia) titled Ancient Beads of Peninsular Malaysia. She was followed by Dr. Alok Kumar Kanungo (India) who presented Ornaments of the Dead among the Nagas.



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