Queen opens Songket and Keringkam Gallery in Sarawak
KUCHING, March 28 (Bernama) -- The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah officiated the opening ceremony of the Songket and Keringkam Gallery in Jalan Masjid here today.
Her Majesty was accompanied by wife of the Premier of Sarawak Puan Sri Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, who is also the patron of the Sarawak Heritage Innovation Project: Songket and Keringkam.
Tunku Azizah spent an hour at the gallery to see for herself the uniqueness of songket and keringkam produced by local weavers.
At the ceremony, Her Majesty said that Sarawak should set up an institution to enable the children in the state to learn about the art of songket and keringkam so that the craft would not be forgotten.
Meanwhile, Deputy State Secretary (Performance and Service Delivery Transformation) Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit said the Sarawak Heritage Innovation Project: Songket and Keringkam was led by Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKSHE) to create an integrated and sustainable ecosystem.
She said the project also aimed to improve the socioeconomic position of the locals, as well as protect, preserve and conserve valuable heritage products.
According to Sabariah, since the idea of the Prisons Department Songket Project was mooted by the Raja Permaisuri Agong in 2019, OKSHE had channelled an allocation of RM50,000 to start the Sarapride’s Weaving Workshop at the Puncak Borneo Prison.
“On Jan 26, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the state government and the Prisons Department and it is a milestone in the joint venture to develop the songket industry in Sarawak,” she said.
She said the state government and the Prisons Department through the OKSHE’s heritage project at the Puncak Borneo Prison were in the process of creating a new songket weaving workshop in an area of 2.5 acres (1.01 hectares) that could accommodate up to 100 weaving houses.
She added that Sarawak now has a total of 120 songket weavers and 246 keringkam embroiderers.