All You Need To Know About Our Handwoven Penan Bags
What is unique about these bags?
Each bag or basket carries a tag that lists the name of the Penan woman who made the bag. They’re 100% made by hand. When you buy a bag or basket made by these Penan women, you are helping another woman gain economic independence. Penan women are using their weaving skills to feed their families and school their children. When you buy a bag from us, know that your money goes towards helping a Penan woman, putting food on her table and giving her children a brighter future.
Who sells these bags?
MWWA buys these bags from the Penan women and sells them directly via community fairs, home-based sales and bazaars. Usually MWWA sells them in cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang where we get incredible response! The bags sell like hot cakes each time we organise a sale. Everyone who sees these bags and hears the stories of struggling Penan women in the interior of Sarawak will always support us by buying not just one bag but many bags for their sisters, friends and colleagues. It helps that our bags look chic and contemporary with splashes of vibrant colours and patterns.
Why are they made with plastic strapping?
We’d love to have them made with rattan (the traditional way) but rattan baskets and bags simply take too long to produce because the harvesting and prepping of rattan takes at least 3 months! Plastic strapping is the modern substitute – it’s durable, washable (yes, you can simply rinse your bags and baskets) and comes in fashionable and exciting colours. These colours make our bags truly contemporary and attractive. We’re putting a new spin on an age-old craft with plastic strapping.
How many women are supported in this programme?
We are currently supporting roughly 36 – 40 Penan women in our weaving project and aim to add more women.
Where can I get these bags?
You can get the bags from our appointed volunteers in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching when they organise sales. Join out facebook page to stay update with our sales venue and date announcement.
If you’d like to help us organise a charity sale, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp to Ann Wong : 013 825 8218
What can I do besides buying these bags?
Besides the weaving project, MWWA also helps the Penan with medical and maternity care (paying medical bills, provide milk, food and clothes for mothers, and babies). Other projects include teaching them to grow vegetables (supplying them with seeds and farming tools), collecting and distributing donations and visiting Penan families and students in schools. Contact us if you wish to help in this regard.