5 Crafts To Buy In Sabah

1. Kadaiku

Kadaiku is a genuine traditional handicrafts store, also known as Sabah Souvenirs & Handicrafts. Promoting Sabah’s handicrafts, they consign high-quality products for sale, each of which is a true traditional and ethnic representation of the artist themselves. Kadaiku also creates amazing custom made gifts and hampers upon request for celebrations and private events, to include hints of Sabah culture into each gift, designed to allow you to bring pieces of Sabah back home with you.

2. Galleria Artisan

Galleria Artisan is a unique retail shop that represents two well-known brands, Bayu Craft and Batik Bayu. It is also a gallery, located in Menara Tun Mustapha Yayasan Sabah. It serves as a one-stop shop for advertising and selling wearable artworks such as local handmade Sabahan handicrafts and batik. Souvenirs and other crafts are available for purchase.

3. Rungus Beads from Kudat

The Rungus of the Kudat district are known to have kept their ancient traditions alive to this day. They are known for their exquisite beadwork, and their costume showcases some of their masterpieces, each of which has a name. These masterpieces includes the Pinakol, Titimbok and more. Additionally, long antique bead necklaces (sandang) are worn across the shoulders. The type, color, and pattern of beads worn by women reveal their social status and identity. Beads woven in natural patterns and motifs such as floral, butterflies, birds, plants, and other elements are an important part of their traditions.

4. Pearls in Tawau

One of the more popular souvenirs from Tawau are the pearls, which are cultivated in Semporna. It is a well recommended place to buy pearl jewelry such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The pearl grades and cost vary considerably and those sold on the markets have the same value as the ones in more reputable places such as in Semporna. 

5. Bamboo Items from Kota Belud or Kota Marudu

Bamboo crafts are another popular souvenir to buy in Sabah, especially in Kota Belud. These items are usually handmade by the locals and to be sold at the market at an affordable price. Bamboo is used for making baskets. It is also used to make musical instruments, mats, storage chests, and trays. Apart from making of good use, it also holds a more practical role back home for memories of Sabah. Handicraft stalls and markets could be found throughout Sabah although stocks might vary from styles and sizes of baskets which could come in full-size to miniatures. Stop by the roadside stalls and don’t forget to try Jagung Bakar (grilled corn).

Last reviewed: January 19, 2023

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