Kabo Necklace and Bracelet
The unique Sarawakian Orang Ulu Kabo necklace and bracelet is now available at Green Daun craft shop as we hand make them individually. The Kabo is also known locally as ‘Buah Kabo’ which resembles a fruit. In English it is called a bobble and it is made from hundreds of glass seed beads.
In Sarawak, the Kabo is commonly used by the Orang Ulu community, namely the Kelabit, Kayan and Kenyah people, who live in the highlands of Sarawak Borneo. This tradition goes back hundreds of centuries, as the Kabo was only used by the tribal men.
Green Daun took the initiative to learn this special skill from one of the Orang Ulu people in Sarawak. Now after learning and understanding this ethnic jewelry, we have made quite a number of them over the last year.
Kabo Necklace and Bracelet History
There is no exact history to the Kabo, but stories handed down from generation to generation seem to be the only form of documentation. Perhaps the Sarawak museum would have more information on this. From what we learn, the Kabo has always been a strong tribal accessory that is used till this very day.
The original Kabo comes in bright chili red color, and is used as a center piece of the men’s necklace. Even male kids would wear the Kabo necklace in Sarawak.
For women to wear them back then, it was considered a taboo, hence only the men wore the Kabo. Through the generations, and modern times, the Kabo is now used by both men and women, as taboos are less practiced among the Orang Ulu people.
The men used to wear the Kabo when they went hunting or traveled to other villages, and when other tribes saw them, they would roughly know what tribe or village the person came from.
From what we learned, there is nothing sacred about the Kabo, except that the design indicates from what Orang Ulu village you hail from. The sizes also indicate which ethnicity you are from too.
Kabo Necklace Colors
Tradition says that the original colors of the Kabo was red, orange and brown. Sometimes a mix of colors are used in making them. Nowadays, due to contemporary modern jewelry designs, they are made in various colours. This is mainly for fashion.
Green Daun makes them in various colors, based on a modern contemporary design, mixing ethnic tribal and modern beads, coming out with chunky necklaces, fusion bracelets, simple Kabo earrings and even in minimalistic designs.
The Kabo designs are following the traditional way of making them, but infused with modern day crystals, spacers and clay beads. We try to keep the Sarawakian elements in the modern designs, making them suitable for everyday use.
Making Kabo Necklace, Bracelet and Earring
We have Kabo necklaces, bracelets and earrings for sale that are ready made by us. And we also do custom made designs, based on the colors or design you prefer. Special orders may take a week or two to be completed, as the work involved in making a Kabo is not an easy task.
The Kabo can be small, medium, large or even extra large, depending on how big you want them. Colors can be selected to match your overall design. To see our collection of Kabo Jewelry, drop by our shop in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya.
Kabo Necklace and Bracelet in Malaysia
The Kabo is also handmade and cannot be machine made. This means, you will not see China selling them at super cheap prices like three for ten. This is one of the Sarawakian ethnic jewelry that is very unique and special, which reflects the Orang Ulu community here.
You can also visit the Green Daun Facebook Page to see our other Kabo jewellery designs, made modern contemporary for everyday use or even for special occasions.
For other Kabo Necklace and Bracelet designs, you can always talk to us, and we can help you create something that suites your taste. In Malaysia, there are not many people who do this ethnic jewelry, so you will not see them being sold everywhere.