The last Bidayuh ‘ring ladies’ of Sarawak

Updated On Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST 9 Photos
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Anyu Daik, 70, from a sub-tribe of the Bidayuhs indigenous group wearing a traditional necklace called ‘Tumbih’ in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. There are currently only five Bidayuh women or ‘ring ladies’ still alive in Malaysia. The women started wearing the yellow copper rings when they were around 10 and have continuously worn them since as they are seen as a sign of beauty and prestige. According to the Bidayuh community, this is a tradition that has been passed down for generations. It is also believed that their ancestors traded with the Chinese and the copper rings were payment for goods procured from the villagers. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Anyu Daik, 70, from a sub-tribe of the Bidayuhs indigenous group wearing a traditional necklace called ‘Tumbih’ in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. There are currently only five Bidayuh women or ‘ring ladies’ still alive in Malaysia. The women started wearing the yellow copper rings when they were around 10 and have continuously worn them since as they are seen as a sign of beauty and prestige. According to the Bidayuh community, this is a tradition that has been passed down for generations. It is also believed that their ancestors traded with the Chinese and the copper rings were payment for goods procured from the villagers. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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Anyu Daik (R), 70, and Anat Ugom, 44 (L), from a sub-tribe of the Bidayuhs indigenous group wearing traditional yellow copper rings called ‘rasung’ on their calves, ‘ ruyang’ on their forearms and ‘tumbih’ as necklaces as they stand outside their kitchen in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Anyu Daik (R), 70, and Anat Ugom, 44 (L), from a sub-tribe of the Bidayuhs indigenous group wearing traditional yellow copper rings called ‘rasung’ on their calves, ‘ ruyang’ on their forearms and ‘tumbih’ as necklaces as they stand outside their kitchen in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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At the age of 40, Anat put on the ruyang for the forearms and rasung for the calves to honour the tradition which embodies the distinctive culture of the Semban, a sub-tribe of the Bidayuh. (Mohd RASFAN/ AFP)

At the age of 40, Anat put on the ruyang for the forearms and rasung for the calves to honour the tradition which embodies the distinctive culture of the Semban, a sub-tribe of the Bidayuh. (Mohd RASFAN/ AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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Anat and Anyu come from the 300-year-old Kampung Semban, better known as ‘a paradise in the cloud’, nestled among the mountains of the Bungo Range. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Anat and Anyu come from the 300-year-old Kampung Semban, better known as ‘a paradise in the cloud’, nestled among the mountains of the Bungo Range. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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Anyu Daik, 70, smiles as she poses for a picture in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Anyu Daik, 70, smiles as she poses for a picture in Padawan in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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These coiled gold-coloured rings are made of copper. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

These coiled gold-coloured rings are made of copper. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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Semban ladies start putting on the rings from around the age of 10, depending on their parents’ social status and financial standing. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Semban ladies start putting on the rings from around the age of 10, depending on their parents’ social status and financial standing. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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The ornamental accessories for the Semban women included the bangles, tumbih (beaded necklace), silver belts and headgear. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

The ornamental accessories for the Semban women included the bangles, tumbih (beaded necklace), silver belts and headgear. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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Anyu (left) and Anat decked out in traditional ‘ruyang’, which symbolises the distinctive Semban culture. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Anyu (left) and Anat decked out in traditional ‘ruyang’, which symbolises the distinctive Semban culture. (Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Updated on Apr 13, 2017 09:02 AM IST
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