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Bidayuh Traditional Necklace (Pangiah) Workshop – WAK 2018

October 15th, 2018 · Nobody Surrendered

Was so excited that I managed to sign up for Bidayuh Traditional Necklace (Pangiah) Workshop organized by Pungu’ Borneo in conjunction with What About Kuching 2018. I’m always curious on how these traditional necklaces are made. In fact, I ever dream of making my own jewelry/accessories for sell hehehe… However, never get into doing it. This is my first time making a proper beaded necklace.


The class was 10am to 5pm at Pullman. Our instructor was Lucille from Pangieh Ranee. Very talented and creative lady. It’s not easy to do all these things, it requires high passion and patience.

Even though I’m half-Bidayuh, I do not know much about the tradition and culture of the Bidayuh community because my mom’s kampung doesn’t practice the customs as it’s a Seventh Day Adventist village.


Let me share a little bit about Pangiah with you…

This necklace is from Bidayuh Jagoi community in Bau area in Sarawak. The functions is for healing, ceremonial, and harvest offering. It’s a ‘spiritual’ and sacred necklace worn by a priestess or a woman healer. It has the power to gather spirit that would provide guidance and help to grant their wielders request. It is not common to be worn by common Bidayuh folks.

The charms are believed to be able to protect the priestess from harm while performing a spiritual ceremony. Ok… The ones in the photos are just ornamental. Actual charms can be from wild boar tusk, bear claws, brass bells, brass coils, ancient coins, rikis tolam(transparent green-blue beads) or rikis biru(big sized melon beads). These will be given by the ‘patient’ who would like to engage the service of the priestess as a prosih(gift).

The key components of a pangiah consist of:
1. Beads
2. Charms
3. Spacer
4. Brass coil
5. 2 old coins, for each side of the pangiah
6. Main colours are red, black, and white. It can also have mixture of colourful beads. It is usually very colourful and can be easily notice from afar.

These days, it’s being used as fashion statement. There will be no charms on them, even if there are, it’s mostly ornamental. The one we’re learning was the traditional ones.


The strands are made up of odd numbers(9/11/13) for pangiah. The motives and designs represent the nature such as bird’s eye and mountain/hill.


Here’s mine… I experimented with Boton Manuk Puni(diamond shape with small dot in the middle represents the bird’s eye). All eyes on you! Don’t play play! ­čśŤ


Left: Lucile was very passionate in teaching us how to do the necklace.

Right: It’s one hard work! Don’t complain that these things are expensive, it’s not! It’s very labour extensive! I had body ache working on it for 6 1/2 hour! *LOL* Oh man… Worst than going hiking in Bako hahaha!! See the necklace I did? Hahaha… Well… I was too eager to want to get it done, I’ve forgotten about counting the beads for the curve. Oppss… I didn’t finish my necklace because I was too ambitious, curiously testing out the patterns, and making a long one *LOL* The one in the photo is unfinished. So… I am going to remove the curve and one side of necklace to redo it one of these days.


It’s an interesting class, great for beginners. We called it a day with a group photo with Lucille (5th right). I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Pungu’ Borneo for organizing it.

A series of events are going on around Kuching this October in conjunction with What About Kuching 2018. Check it out at AboutKuching.com and see what other bloggers are doing at the various events at SarawakBloggers.com.

Categories: Fab Fashion · Public Events · Uniquely Kuching

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