In 2013 Kuching in Sarawak will host the ....

Beads and Heritage

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
Friday 11th - Sunday 13th October 2013
Four Points by Sheraton, Kuching

For more information on attending the conference,

and for contact details for enquiries.... here


We are still refining the details of the programme, this is currently what is planned.

  • Friday, 11 October 2013
  • 9 am. – 5 pm.
    ‘soft opening’ of Bazaar, the public can take a preview
    Hands-on workshops begin
    Official Opening timed to suit the officiating person
    Keynote address, paper presentation(s)

  • Saturday, 12 October 2013
  • 9 am. – 5 pm.
    AM Presentation of Papers
    Bead Bazaar continues all day
    PM Hands-on workshops
    8 pm.
    Gala Dinner

  • Sunday, 13 October 2013
  • 9 am. – 4 pm.
    AM Presentation of Papers
    Bead Bazaar continues all day
    PM Hands-on workshops
    4 pm. – 5 pm.
    Plenary session, Q & A for all speakers and participants.

  • Post Conference Tours
    • Anna Rais – home of the Bidayuh Tall-Bead-Hat ladies (day trip from Kuching)
    • ‘Roof of Borneo’ –– bead culture in the longhouses of Bario Highlands (3 days)
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site tour to Mulu Caves (3 days)

Latest updates:

  • Borneo Adventure is the Official Tour Operator of BIBCo 2013
  • Speaker list updated, and now includes talk subjects
  • Workshops list revised

Please revisit this page to keep up to date with latest news on BIBCo 2013 - we continue to update it with more details!

You can download a brochure (3.92 Mb) in pdf format here.

Introduction: Beads in Sarawak

The bead culture of Sarawak, part of a greater Malaysian heritage, is rooted in centuries of tradition. An ancient maritime trading network linked Sarawak to the world; the beads most treasured today came from production centres on the Malay Peninsula, India, China and even further afield.

In the hands of Sarawak‘s craftswomen and collectors, these masterpieces of the glassmaker‘s art became intrinsically ‘Borneo Beads’.

Objectives of BIBCo

  1. To facilitate creative interaction between Sarawak’s artisans/designers and their international counterparts
  2. To share knowledge with international bead scholars and researchers
  3. To preserve the Sarawak bead tradition in a commercially viable way
  4. To encourage the production of top quality beads and beadwork in Sarawak
  5. To promote competent modern design in beads and beadwork
  6. To showcase the bead culture of Sarawak to a regional/international audience
  7. To promote ‘culture tourism’ in Sarawak
  8. To improve the earning power of home–based cottage workers in Sarawak

Panel of invited Speakers

Dr. Valerie Hector Modern Mainland Chinese Beadwork
is an anthropologist, and a professional jewelry designer whose primary materials are beads and precious metals. She has been researching mainland Chinese beadwork since 1997, and has made 12 trips to China.
Akwele Suma Glory African Powder Glass Beads
is a creative artist, based in Ghana, who uses and promotes beads in her works. She is connected with the Women’s Art Institute of Africa, and has shown her works both at home and internationally.
Dr. Elaine Kim Ancient and modern beads of Korea
Director of the World Jewelry Museum in Korea, completed her academic education in the Netherlands. She has exhibited her own creations and curated exhibitions in Korea, China and Poland.
Dr. Martina Dempf Jewellery in Action – Examples from East Africa
bijouterie designer and anthropologist, has created some stunning ‘fusion’ jewelry combing organic materials and precious metals. She co-curated the international WCC jewelry exhibition in New Delhi 2011.
Stefany Tomalin Opulent Organic Beads
is a founder member of the Bead Society of Great Britain. She is a designer, collector, author and retailer of antique and unusual beads and bead jewelry.
Kathy Chen Beads of the Paiwan people of Taiwan
Australian National University, has just completed a research project on the beads of the native inhabitants of Taiwan.
Eileen Fong Bead Song of the Baram River
lecturer at Curtin University and student of her indigenous culture.
Su Chin Sidih Beads of Sabah
of Sabah Museum is a long-term student of traditions of her home State, specializing in sartorial culture and personal adornment.
Patricia Nayoi Berawan – the healing beads of the Bidayuh people
is a research assistant with the Sarawak Development Institute.

Hands–on workshops and demonstrations include:

  • Paper beadmaking
  • Powder-glass beadmaking (East Africa)
  • ‘Recycle – Reuse’ – from trash to treasure (Australia)
  • Indigenous Beadwork (Taiwan)
  • Zulu beadworking (South Africa)
  • Lamp-bead production (demonstration)
  • ‘ulub’ bead bobble of the Orang Ulu

BIBCo 2013 Participation Rates

Participation includes

  • Seminars and workshops
  • Lunches
  • Gala Dinner
  • Conference Bag
  • one copy of Conference Journal

* Participation does not include hotel accommodation

Foreign Participants:....

USD 450 per person
Early Bird Discount - booking made and paid before July 31, 2013:
USD 400 per person

Local Participants:....

RM 450 per person
Early Bird Rate - booking made and paid before July 31, 2013:
RM 400 per person
Student rate (excludes Journal, Conference bag and Gala Dinner):
RM 250 per person

Note: ‘local participants’ are persons, of whatever nationality, domiciled in Sarawak/Sabah/West Malaysia

For booking information please email Alexis, or for any enquiries or more information generally about the event, please email Crafthub.

Travel Arrangements

Borneo Adventure is the Official Tour Operator for BIBCo 2013. They can also arrange pre– and post–conference tours, hotel accommodation and travel arrangements in Sarawak, Sabah and the rest of Malaysia.

Flights to Kuching

Sarawak is well served by both full-service airlines such as Malaysia Airlines and Silk Air, and low-cost carriers such as Air Asia, Tiger and Malindo.

Direct flights to Kuching are provided by:

Malaysia Airlines:
from KL, Johor Bahru, Singapore, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Sibu and other towns in Sarawak through subsidiary MASwings
Silk Air:
from Singapore
Air Asia:
from KL, Singapore, Penang, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri
from Singapore
from KL
Back to top

BIBCo 2013 Logo

The Borneo International Beads Award (BIBA)

This Borneo International Beads Award (BIBA) encourages creativity and original design in the field of bead-making, bead-working and bead-stringing. It is organized by Crafthub Sdn Bhd, supported by the World Crafts Council (WCC and WCCAPR).

The purpose of BIBA is to uplift the status of the bead-working and bead-making artisans and artists everywhere.

The winners will be announced at BIBCo 2013.


Any Craftsperson or artisan is eligible to participate in this Competition. There is no restriction as to residence or nationality.


The Borneo International Beads Award competition is run in three main categories:

  • Bead–work (‘seed beads’)   –   personal adornment, traditional artefacts
  • Bead stringing – necklace, bracelet etc   –   personal adornment
  • Bead–making  –   glass, ceramic or other material


  • 1st Prize — Award Trophy, a Certificate and USD 1000, one award for each category
  • 2nd Prize — Award Trophy, a Certificate and USD 500, one award for each category
  • 3rd Prize — Award Trophy, a Certificate and USD 300, one award for each category

  • Honourable Mentions in each category — Certificates of Merit

Time Frame

Images of the projected or part-finished entry must be submitted for pre-selection before the 30th July 2013 (

The completed artifact is presented for judging by 30th September 2013. Entrants who are also participating in BIBCo may submit their artifact on arrival, 10th October, by special arrangement, please notify us at

For Inquiries about BIBCo 2013 and/or BIBA, please contact:

——— Bookings ———
Event Manager: UCSI Communications
——— All other inquiries ———
BIBCo 2013 Organizer:   Crafthub Sdn Bhd
Mailing Address: 1st Floor 96 Main Bazaar
93000 Kuching
+60 82 421 346
+60 82 422 926
Facebook Page: Crafthub-Kuching-Malaysia

BIBCo 2013 is organised by ...
... and the event is managed by ...
crafthub logo
UCSI Communications logo
Crafthub Sdn Bhd
... and the Official Tour Operator for the event is ...
Borneo Adventure logo