"Through these weaves my story unfolds,
In my heritage this legacy lies,
By these hands, I am made."
Uncle Ng, as he is fondly known, is aged 62 and has 3 children. He is a self-taught artisan who learned to weave using books and magazines, and has been making bamboo rattan crafts for the last 30 years.
Uncle Ng is one of the finest rattan weavers in Peninsular Malaysia. His skills have been helping to support his family even though he has been unable to walk due to childhood polio since the age of 3. Earth Heir has been working with Uncle Ng for more than five years and we are privileged to work with artisans like Uncle Ng.
We work with the Mah Meri tribe to celebrate their traditional pandanus leaf weaving. The Mah Meri (Mah meaning people and Meri meaning forest) are one of 19 Orang Asli (indigenous) people groups of Peninsular Malaysia. Pandanus leaves are used in many rituals and crafts of the Mah Meri tribe. The leaves are processed into colorful strips and woven to create mats, hats, baskets, personal adornments and many other items. Women of the tribe use weaving as a way to support their families.View Mah Meri Products
"There is demand, but the supply is getting less and less. It's the workers, the weavers, they are a dying breed" - Kak Jah, Terengganu, Malaysia
The master Mengkuang weavers that we work with throughout Malaysia, are mostly over the age of 60.
Some of our products with very fine Mengkuang weaves are one of a kind pieces woven by very experienced master artisans. For example, the very fine Kelarai technique is only woven by one or two women in Malaysia.
We hope that through our work, and collaborations with organisations like the National Craft Institute in Malaysia (Institut Kraf Negara), younger folk would be keen in these art forms.