ORANG asli handicrafts are very difficult to come by as one has to travel deep into the dense jungles to their villages to get them.
Now the community’s work of art has been brought to the heart of Ipoh city, thanks to the Yayasan Orang Asli Perak (YOAP) that has set up a centre to showcase the handicrafts.
Foundation director Datuk Suki Mee said the centre, to be named Abor Haknuk Kraf, would open its doors in January.
It would be located at Bandar Ipoh Raya near the foundation’s office.
“The centre will showcase between 30 and 100 items of mainly games, souvenirs and medicinal ingredients.
“These items are collected from orang asli communities throughout Perak and also areas across the Titiwangsa mountain range,” Suki Mee told reporters after the Perak Orang Asli Excellent Students Incentive Presentation Ceremony 2011 in Ipoh recently.
Noting that there are about 53,000 orang asli in Perak alone, Suki Mee added that YOAP decided to set up the centre to create more prominence for orang asli arts and crafts while generating income for the community.
“It is our hope that through the centre, we can preserve the arts and culture of the orang asli while improving their livelihood,” he said, adding that it would be managed by YOAP with help from Koperasi Orang Asli Perak.
Suki Mee said the foundation was in the midst of renovating the centre and collecting handicrafts from various orang asli villages at a cost of RM100,000.
“A workshop will be set up at the back of the centre to repair broken handicraft and also to increase their attractiveness and durability before being sold.
“Each item will also be tagged according to the source and name of the craftsman to ensure their authenticity,” Suki Mee said.
He added that the workshop would also provide tourists the chance to see for themselves how the handicrafts are made.
“We aim to make it another tourism product for the state in line with Visit Perak Year 2012,” he said.