The second Rainforest World Crafts Bazaar was held in July 2009, once again to coincide with the world-famous Rainforest World Music Festival, now in its 12th year, in the same venue as the RWMF, the Sarawak Cultural Village.

The RWCB was organised by Crafthub for the Sarawak Craft Council and supported by the Sarawak Tourism Board.

In the two years it has been held, the RWCB has attracted participations from East and West Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Central Asia, Poland, Kyrgyzstan, India, Japan, and Denmark.

Despite the obstacles of the economic depression and the threat of influenza, RWCB in 2009 was once again very successful. This year’s event was on a larger scale than in 2008, with 72 booths occupied by local and international participants.

Here are some of the comments we received from visitors:

“What wonderful talents we have – it is very good for the people involved to give the young talents a chance to show off.”

Tan Sri Dr.George Chan Hong Nam, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak

“Absolutely Amazing, and essential for the [music] festival!”

Randy Raine-Reusch, Artistic Director RWMF, Canada

“Excellent Crafts Bazaar – well done!”

Kate Welsman, Music Journalist, Australia

“It is Crafts and Nature that reminds us where we are. Beautiful – I hope to visit in 2010!”

Padmaka, Sri Lanka

“So much beauty – so many colours! Congratulations!”

Gabriel Vasquez, Chile

“Wow, some really lovely things. Wish I wasn’t here on a budget.”

Catherine Turner, UK

“Interesting, enlightening. Syabas (well done) for promoting ethnic art and craft!”

Premala Mohan Kumar, Malaysia

“Well-organized event, very friendly people. Will visit again – thank you!”

Ross Konowallenco, Australia

“Thank you for a selection of wonderful items!”

Shan Galey, Singapore

“Just one word: Prachtig! (Splendid!)”

Jan Willem, Netherlands

“Beautiful crafts, incredible artistry. A great festival!”

Karen Shepherd, Malaysia

“What a beautiful display of all those beautiful crafts and arts! Well done organizers!”

Jan Turnbull, Australia

To house the event, a ‘craft city’ of more than 70 booths, many of them air-conditioned, was custom-built. The crafts of Malaysia – West and East, Korea, Indonesia, Central Asia and Poland were on display, with special billing for the ethnic products of Sarawak.

The customer base was even more varied, consisting of some 22,000 Rainforest World Music Festival fans from many  countries as well as many local people.

The Bazaar was formally opened on Wednesday July 8th by Her Excellency Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Hajah Norkiah, wife of the Head of State of Sarawak, and was attended by many local dignitaries. H.E. was welcomed by Datuk Gramong Juna, Chairman of the Sarawak Crafts Council, and by Heidi Munan, Director of the RWCB. After the opening, H.E. toured the bazaar.

RWCB 2009 was also visited by Datuk Michael Manyin, Sarawak Minister for Urban Development and Tourism, and by Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak.


H.E.’s visit to the Bazaar……
pic…at Saleem’s Islamic Arts, with fine carpets from Central Asia picH.E. painting batik, helped by Misari from the Jakarta Textile Museum, with Heidi Munan watching intently picH.E. views traditional Sarawak bead decoration work
picH.E. viewing Sarawak Beads picH.E. and Indonesian stall picH.E. and hats from orang ulu ethnic group
At the formal opening of the event……
picH.E cutting the ribbon, with Datuk Gramong Juna and Heidi Munan picThe formal opening speeches picDatuk Gramong Juna, Datuk Wan Junaidi – the local Member of Parliament for Santubong and Deputy Speaker, and Heidi Munan
picDatuk Gramong, Indonesian craftsman Benny Adrianto, and Indonesian vice-consul Bapak Rafail Walangitan picSarawak artist Narong Daun with Heidi Munan, H.E., and Datuk Gramong
Crafts demonstrations……
picNabila Abdullah making pots –
picWeaving demonstrations – Kraftangan
picTextile crafts in practice – Kraftangan picHands-on pottery demonstration – Kraftangan
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam visited the bazaar……
picTan Sri Dr. George Chan with hand-painted ceramics from Sarawak…. pic….and with local potter Nabila picTan Sri Dr. George Chan with Sarawak craftspeople – who are wearing RWCB 2009 t-shirts!…
pic…..and another Sarawak craftswoman, who is wearing a different RWCB 2009 t-shirt design!
…as did Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin……
picDatuk Michael examines a traditional parang picDatuk Michael and traditional weapons and wood crafts picDatuk Michael visiting Korean stall and exhibitor Suk Mee Hee, with Heidi Munan
picAt Esther Siret’s stall – musical intruments and bark clothing picDatuk Michael views traditional Sarawak basket work
Other visitors and shoppers……
picYoung visitor learning batik painting
picBrowsers and shoppers picThe Bazaar was visited by several school parties from Kuching picShoppers at Indonesian stall
Impromptu “fashion show” on Thursday 9th……
picModels preparing for impromptu “Fashion show”
picFlamboyant ‘model’ and textile designer Rosso
Crafts, Stalls and Exhibitors……
picEileen Lawrence and Grandfather, with Penan rattan products picCrafthub ceramic chokers picIndonesian decorative items
picAgus Purwanto and Benny Adrianto, with textiles from Java picSiew Fun and Ila, from Funz Kaftan in Kuala Lumpur, with their kaftans picSarawak Lady with traditional Pua Kumbu weavings
picFlorence Wee, from Sarawak, who makes glass beads and produces jewellery with them picLonghouse Model picIsdarnaini with bags and baskets from Java
picQursiah, Nuriy’s Arts and Crafts, from Kuala Lumpur, with her colourful bags and t-shirts




RWCB 2009 is organised for…
… and the event is managed by …
Sarawak Craft Council
Crafthub Sdn Bhd



RWCB was supported …
… in Sarawak by …
… and nationally, in Malaysia, by …
Sarawak Tourism Board
Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism, Sarawak
Tourism Malaysia
Ministry of Tourism Malaysia