Palm Leaf; Rattan; Bamboo
Sarawak (Malay, Coastal Melanau)
This type of hat involves applied work rather than true plaiting. The outer surface is decorated with bamboo or rattan strips of many colours. The palm or nipah leaves form the inner surface and are sewn together. They retain their natural cream colour. The nipah palm grows at the river mouth where most of the malays of Sarawak live. The best leaves are the young ones because they are soft and pliable. After they are dried, the centre spine and outer edges are removed, making the leaves ready for use.
Red, yellow, green, blue, and black are used for the ribs and inserts forming the decoration on the upper surface of this conical hat.
Rattan; Bamboo; Fabric; Beads
Sarawak-Borneo (Bidayuh - Dayak)
This flat concical hat has plaited geometric designs outlined by raised metallic threads. There are three flags worked with beads. One is British and the second is that of the Colony of Sarawak. The third is unidentified. The interior plaited basketry is covered with light blue floral printed fabric.
Rattan ?; Bemban ?; Bamboo ?
Sarawak (Dusan Culture)
Three woven bands of red and black geometric patterns radiate from the top of this conical woven hat. Some of the motifs have been identified as a fern with curled leaves. The zig-zag motif is thought to be a variant of the Thorn (Dunan) plant.
Canada, 20th century
This carved wood is "Pugwis" or "Man of the Sea." The size and shape are traditional, but the use is not. This mask would have a decorative function since it does not have orifices for seeing and breathing which would be required for a ceremonial function. The surface treatment is also non-traditional, as it is varnished rather than painted.
According to a note in the document file, "Henry Hunt says that 'Pugwis' should be the first subject to be carved...Consequently this piece might have been one of the first pieces done by Henry Hunt."
Bibliography: Gonzalez, Information sheet (document file).