Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rattan Clothes Basket

A photo by Stephenlnc.

We used this kind of clothes basket to keep clothes in for repair or for recycling. A pair of scissors would be in the basket with other things like threads and needles.

In some families, this kind of basket was for keeping babies' clothes. Sometimes the basket was hanged up so that ants would not crawl into the clothes. That is why you can see a smaller handle on the bigger handle.

Apart from these two uses, I would not know what else it was used for.

This kind of basket was very sturdy and hardy because the best rattan was used. That is why it can stand the test of time.

What did your family use it for?

10 memories:

Gaharuman said...


The species of rattan used in the old days are of a very good quality but are now very rare. Less durable species are used nowadays. That should make very old rattan basket something to keep.

Sarawakiana said...

Thank you for your input. Several years ago I took a course in basketry and we were given West Malaysia treated wicker rattan, very gentle on the hands, pretty, but it did not last at all. The products were good to look at and after several years, the strength gave way.

You are right, years ago our forebears really knew the best species to use. They were lucky too to be able to obtain them.

Iml said...

Rattan products are so hard to come by these days. Was at the Central Market,Kl last month but did not see any there.

Sarawakiana said...

Thank you for stopping by.

Rattan products are hard to come back. SArawak still offers some of the best because the rainforest creeping rattans are water resistant species. Like good leather, rattans can last a life time.

Bengbeng said...

my rattan basket is different and i believe at least a hundred yrs old. due to its delicate nature, we use it only once a year now.

it is an honor to b linked by u

Gaharuman said...


I do not know if you get my earlier message.

I have a spare copy of the book with a picture of jelutong and would like to send you a copy.

Can I have your postakl address, please?

Please send it to

Thanks, gaharuman

Sarawakiana said...

thanks. that's very thoughtful andkind of you.

I will write to you through gmail.

thanks again. Really appreciate it.

Someone told me that Jelutong is almost completely gone from Sarawak.

Gaharuman said...



tere is a new publication on the history of Cantonese in Sibu.

Also, he Sibu Police Station has been domolished to make way for a new building. Wonder if anyone took any photos of the old police station before they are demolished.

Also, the old Sibu General Post Office and SMC Building (which also houses the Sibu Public Library and I used to frequent it when I was student - nostalgic over it) are historical. Someone should take a photo of them before they are gone!!

I remember the reference section of the library was upstair and the librarian was very strict and would allow anyone to make any noise unlike nowadays!!

Sarawakiana said...

Hi nice of you to let me know that SUDEC/SMC would be soon demolished.

I did post an article on SUDC sometime back. I wrote about the librarian, the library books, but did not mention the reference library upstairs. (never did use it also).

Yes, it was a unique building. My photo was a black and white one.

Gaharuman said...

Hi Sarawakiana,

There was a plan to demolish the SMC/SUDC building. But it has been put on hiold for the time being. Dont know ehen they are going to demolish it. It is one of the few colonial era building in Sibu together with Lau King Howe Hospital, the Channel ROad/ market road/old street shophouses.

Perhaps you would also want to write about the tua pek kong temple. It is at least over a century old!


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