Weaving Hope – A heartfelt tribute to the inmates from Raja Permaisuri Agong

By Aisyah Husna

LONDON, 12 May 2022: The Royal Pahang Weave (Tenun Pahang Diraja) made a regal premiere in one of the world’s fashion capitals yesterday when some of the best and most exquisite woven pieces were displayed at the Tenun Pahang DiRaja exhibition as part of London Craft Week, New Straits Times reported.

The ‘Weaving Hope’ exhibition runs from 9 to 15 May at the Malaysian High Commission in Belgrave Square. The patron of Yayasan Tenun Pahang Diraja, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, officially launched it.

Her Majesty, dressed in a peach suit woven by Bentong convicts, was a walking testament to the product of her devotion, which was formed out of a desire to resuscitate a dying art.

Beamed with delight as she looked at the colourful works that hung on the walls of the High Commission, which had been transformed into an exhibition hall replete with a Kei Siam loom.

Her Majesty shouted, referring to prison wardens and a former inmate flown in for the show, “This is my token of gratitude to them! I’m glad for the prisons and the inmates!”

Even if Her Majesty had said those words of gratitude a hundred times, it would not have sufficed. Inmates and wardens at Pahang’s Bentong and Penor prisons have been key in restoring a thousand-year-old weaving tradition. And in doing so, rekindled hope not only for the art’s survival, but also for those weavers whose hopes had perished the day they were imprisoned.

Her Majesty was flanked by prison wardens from Bentong, Penor, and Penjara Malaysia in her speech at the opening, yet another tribute to their support and cooperation; a small corner for two weavers in one prison had expanded to accommodate more, and the number of weavers had grown from just 15, 16 years ago to around 200. This is when hope comes true. ***

Source: News Strait Times

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