We love our symbolic statues, so much so that many towns in the state have their own! These statues aren’t just there for aesthetics though, a lot of them have significant meaning, be it an important produce or local wildlife.
Let’s take a look at some of Sarawak’s iconic statues!
It is said that the city of Kuching got it name from the Malay word, ‘kucing’, which means cat. There are plenty of cat statues around Kuching, like the family of cats in front of Grand Margherita Hotel, but perhaps none is as iconic as the white cat gracing the entrance into Padungan Street. Depending on the occasion, you’ll see the statue in various traditional outfits and costumes and even bow ties!
The small town of Lundu serves as a gateway to Gunung Gading National Park, which is home to the elusive and rare Rafflesia flower, so it’s no surprise that a statue of it graces Lundu! You can see the Rafflesia statue near Lundu’s Town Square.
Bau town was once a gold mining haven, and its landmark, located right next to the Bau Wet Market, depicts three miners along with the state flower, the Normah Orchid as well as pitcher plants on top of the statue.
The town of Serian is home to (allegedly) the best durians in Sarawak! There is multiple durian statues located in Serian but the most recognisable one is probably the one of two durians along with the town name.
Sarikei is known for its history of pineapple planting, which dates back to the 1970s, and is one of the main suppliers of vegetables and fruits for Sarawak’s Central Region. Located near the Sarikei Waterfront, the iconic pineapple statue is approximately 3.6 metres tall and is a breath-taking symbol of the town’s most legendary produce!
6. Sri Aman
Once called Simanggang, this town was renamed Sri Aman after the signing of the peace agreement to end communist resurgence and to commemorate the event that brought peace to the area. As a symbol of said agreement, the town adopted white doves – the symbol of peace. A statue of two white doves can be seen at Sri Aman town centre.
Legends dictate that the town of Sibu was once struck by a famine, which ended when a flock of swans flew above it. The swan became a symbol of a new identity, spirit, solidarity and unity for the people of Sibu.
Located in the heart of Betong town, this rubber tree statue commemorates the town being what was once Sarawak’s main rubber producer. The rubber tree appears to have been chopped, with new growth points along the severed stem. The stem symbolises the town’s old history, while the new stem symbolises the new spirit of the people of Betong.
It is said that almost all families in Bekenu plants oil palm trees, so it’s no surprise that the town’s landmark is an oil palm fruit bunch! Located right in town centre, the statue is a symbol of how far the townspeople have come in terms of development thanks to the industry.
The town of Belaga is probably most well known for its burial poles, the ‘kelirieng’ of the Punan Bah tribe. These poles are traditionally carved from a large tree trunk, but the statue has a pole painted with motifs with a large carved hornbill on top.
The towns of Limbang and Lawas are both production hubs for buffalos, and so, these animals are a huge part of the people’s life. The Bisaya community also celebrates Pesta Babulang annually, with its main highlight being an exciting buffalo race!
You can see statues of seahorses everywhere in Miri! The seahorse was part of the ‘I Love Miri’ campaign back in 1994 and symbolises the cultural harmony of Mirians.
Located at Marudi town centre, the statue represents the historic Baram Regatta, which has been held bi-annually since 1899.