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Beads and Beadwork of the Rungus of Sabah

by Bucklee Bell

Part Four: Other Ornaments

The sandang, a pair of long beaded strands, mostly with matching beads. These are worn crossed over the chest like the pinakol. There are some fine old Czech beads on the ones in Adrian's grandmother's collection.

Top: The sulau, a flat beaded choker worn around the neck with two clamshell discs, one in front and one in back. Small bells are attached in the front. They make the discs out of plastic nowadays.

Center: The tinggot, a short choker, either single beaded or with narrow beadwork. Men and women wear these.

Bottom: The togkul, a necklace some 26 inches (66 cm) long with beads similar to the sandang but smaller and worn around the neck.

The sisingal is a narrow beaded band worn around the head.

The rampai is made of cotton, flowers and beads worked into the hair.

The orot. "Little brass rings and antique beads looped through thin strands of stripped bark (togung) becomes a wide and colorful hipband. To wear this the orot is slowly and carefully coiled around the hip. Then a last string of beads (lobokon) is hung loosely from the coil. The orot is hand made by the Rungus men as the technique is known only to them." (Benggon 1992:14)

This was also pictured on the Malaysian stamps.

The bobolizan originates with the Tuaran Lotud group of Sabah, but according to Rose Sabala sometimes Rungus wear bobolizan to talk to spirits in the old language.

There are also sad'ang, earrings that sometimes have beads attached.

Many of the beads used by the Rungus are plastic and glass imitations of older heirloom beads. Adrian said that his grandmother uses plastic spoons, heating them over a flame and winding the hot plastic onto a metal rod to make yellow beads.

The Pinakol
Making the Pinakol
Other Ornaments
Grandmother's Beads
References and links

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