Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sleeping Dictionary

Last night, my Baby just wouldn't fall asleep so I ended up watching a very late night movie (no, it was not and adult movie). It was The Sleeping Dictionary (2003) staring Hugh Dancy, Jessica Alba, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Mortimer and Bob Hoskins. Normally, I'm not a big fan of Romantic Comedies, but this one is set in Sarawak in 1936, so of course, costumes come into play.

What I was fascinated with in this movie is the traditional costume of the Iban women, which we see Selima wear during the festival scene. (By the way the Iban is the ethnic group that the character of Selima belongs to.)

Jessica Alba as Selima, The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

Of course, you know me, I had to know more. So the first thing I asked myself is "Where is Sarawak?". No offense, but I had never heard of the place. As it turns out, Sarawak is situated on the island of Borneo and is one of two Malaysian state on the island. Now that I have learned something new, let's move on to the costume.

I found the following picture on the National Geographic website and it gave a description of the costume worn by the girl.

A young Iban woman wearing traditional ceremonial attire poses among Sarawak, Malaysia's lush forest. Her costume includes numerous silver ornaments, including a necklace, a sash of coins on her sarong, multiple bracelets and anklets, and a tall, ornate silver headdress called a sugu tinggi. Photo Credit: Dave Bartruff/CORBIS

Of course, what really caught my eye was the silver headdress or sugu tinggi, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to feel that way! As I learned, it is a comb case made entirely of silver.

Lets look at more eye candy from the Sarawak Tourism Board website.

An Iban Dance

Beautiful ladies in Iban costume

Beads to adorn the Iban costume

Can you believe those collars are made of beads! Now that is impressive work.

What a beautiful Traditional / National costume. I wish Québec's was that impressive, but all we have is a tuque and a Ceinture Fléché (Arrow Sash). The belt in itself is nice, but I want a whole attire, not just an accessory.

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