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. It is called a bobble in English, and it is made from hundreds of glass seed beads.
Update 2021: We no longer do custom made Kabo bracelets at Green Daun, and we also do not do “Restringing Service” for bracelets or necklaces. Please take note of this.
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 tribal men only used the Kabo.
Green Daun took the initiative to learn this special skill from one of the Orang Ulu people in Sarawak. After learning and understanding this ethnic jewellery, 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 used to this very day.
The original Kabo comes in bright chilli red colour and is used as a centrepiece of the men’s necklace. Even male kids would wear the Kabo necklace in Sarawak.
It was considered taboo for women to wear them back then; hence, only the men wore the Kabo. The Kabo is now used by both men and women through the generations and modern times, as taboos are less practised among the Orang Ulu people.
The men used to wear the Kabo when they went hunting or travelled 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 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 colours of the Kabo were red, orange and brown. Sometimes a mix of colours is used in making them. Nowadays, due to contemporary modern jewellery designs, they are made in various colours. This is mainly for fashion.
Green Daun makes them in various colours based on a modern contemporary design, mixing ethnic tribal and modern beads, chunky necklaces, fusion bracelets, simple Kabo earrings, and minimalistic designs.
The Kabo designs follow the traditional way of making them but infused with modern-day crystals, spacers and clay beads. We try to keep the Sarawakian elements in 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 colours 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. Colours 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 low prices like three for ten.
This is one of the Sarawakian ethnic jewellery 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, modern contemporary for everyday use or even for special occasions.
Update 2021: We no longer do custom made bracelets at Green Daun, and we also do not do “Restringing Service” for bracelets or necklaces. Please take note of this.
For other Kabo Necklace and Bracelet designs, you can always talk to us, and we can help you create something that suits your taste.
There are not many people who do this ethnic jewellery in Malaysia, so you will not see them being sold everywhere.