Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
148Trip End May 30, 2013
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We talked with our couch surf hosts in Kuching about this. They've lived in Sarawak for 2 years and both have jobs that take them to the are outreaches of the province. As a result, they've had some amazing experiences. Sharing the true CS (couch surfing) spirit, they agreed that taking tours to fabricated longhouse villages with cultural 'displays' and 'shows' were NOT the way to find something real. But if not booking, how do you get this? “Just go to Kapit and someone will find you” was their cryptic suggestion.
Then came the longhouse disaster and we were almost ready to cancel. Thankfully, we didn't!
Met by Rorna and her friend Siti, we piled into the back of their pick-up and went to their house.
When we arrived, we saw the looms in various stages and we got a little demonstration of weaving. Rorna's mother does everything in the traditional way from setting up the loom, preparing the designs, dying the fabric and weaving. She takes the thread and bundles them together and wraps different sections in waxed thread to resist the dye. Then, using natural bark and leaves she creates dyes to colour the string. I couldn't believe how beautiful the designs were. I'm a bit ashamed to say, but much of the 'native' weaving I've seen I find a bit tacky (although I respect the process immensely). But this was truly beautiful.
Emails were exchanged and a photo of us all dressed up was uploaded to facebook before we even made it back to the hotel. What a crazy world we live in!