Man shaping the soft wood into the base shape before proceeding to carve more intricate designs.
Wood carving is a fine art form, the shaping of a piece of wood to form into marvelous sculptures and designs. Moreso if the person is using naturally shaped wood and have to use his imagination to find the design based on the natural grain, twist and shape of the wood. Whereas some of the designs are merely for decorations as the many animal shaped carvings for sale to tourists and locals alike, wood carving has also been deeply ingrained as a functional artform in the making of weapons.
The Malay kris which is a blade shaped in a wave form is such a traditional artwork, while the forging and shaping of the blade itself in an artform and a revered skill, the carving of the hilt and sheath involved no less a painstaking and skilled work. Among the Sabahans, the Bajaus from Kudat are renowned for their weapon forging skills often involving the making of parangs or machetes and other weapons. Most often these are functional and are sold to be used for everyday life such as for bush clearing, house chores and even slaughtering animals.
Carving natural wood pieces are harder as the carver has to work with the natural shape of the wood piece
The wood grain and natural twisted shape makes this owl carving seems alive and organic
Various weapons with carved sheath and hilts on display for sale
The intricately carved hilt of a parang, famous amoung the Bajau weaponsmith.
A finished parang shows the skill of the carver in applying the design