Chanteek Borneo Gallery in Sabah

Chanteek Borneo Gallery Sabah

Among the new tourism products in Sabah is the Chanteek Borneo Gallery, located about 45 minutes from the city of Kota Kinabalu. This private gallery is not an art gallery but more of a heritage and cultural gallery based on the many Sabahan ethnicity found inside here and is highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn and understand more about the many people of Sabah. 

A visit here in May 2015 opened up my eyes as I was only introduced to probably less than 50% of the various different people of Sabah. After coming to the Chanteek Borneo Gallery, I learnt more about the other tribes and people of Sabah. For your added information, Chanteek means “Beautiful” in the Malay language and more so for the Sabahan Malay style of pronouncing it with a drag at the end of the word. 

Chanteek Borneo Gallery KK
The welcoming entrance at Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Chanteek Gallery Kota Kinabalu
Some of the amazing displays inside the gallery
So, what can you find here? For the art lovers, don't be disappointed as you will not find art pieces here but a massive collection of Sabah's rich cultural heritage and showcased in play doll style. 

In other words, each of the ethnic groups of Sabah are displayed in a specially made doll complete with their respective traditional costume which are all hand-sewn and decorated with the respective accessories. 

Photo of Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Some of the intricate displays
Meeting up with Anne Antah, the owner of Chanteek Borneo Gallery, she mentioned that she is extremely passionate about preserving the cultural heritage of Sabah and this came to light only a few years ago where she ended up funding this entire project by herself. 

Ann then took us on a personal tour around the gallery explaining almost each of the different ethnic group here. What fascinated me was that she went all out to get the actual design for each of the costumes. She said that at times, she went to meet up with the village elders to get their consent on the original costume designs. 

Dolls at Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Detailed traditional costumes
No other place is Sabah or the world has such a collection of all the ethnic groups of North Borneo and now, it is found here after she pursued this project. Initially it was a hobby which soon materialised into a business and that she can share this with everyone. 

Kids Room Chanteek Borneo Gallery
They have a kids room for  dressing the dolls activities 
Highlights are the Kadazan Dusun dolls as the owner is one of them and you will see the many sub-ethnic groups of the Kadazan and Dusun people here. There are also the entire Murut people and their sub-ethnics, Orang Sungai people and many other smaller tribes of Sabah. 

All done in the play doll style, some complete with replica traditional homes built to a much smaller scale. I even noticed one with a traditional Bajau wedding set up.  

Dolls at Chanteek Gallery
A display of the traditional dolls
In total, there are over 200 dolls from 40 different ethnic groups of Sabah on display here. The amazing thing about this collection is that the owner has painstakingly spent years researching these ethnic groups and some of them even very rare and exclusive which is hard to see in the modern day. 

Perhaps you can see them only during the Kaamatan or Harvest Festival but this too is not guaranteed as most of the interior ethnic groups do not come to the large towns or cities. 

Badeeh Souvenir Shop at Chanteek Gallery
Local traditional items sold at the souvenir shop here
Each of the cultural dolls are 30cm (12" inches) tall and have been meticulously dressed with hand-sewn materials. Before you exit the gallery, you will end up at the Badeeh souvenir shop where you can purchase items such as the dolls in costume, local handicraft, plush toys, bookmarks, key chains, Sabah bead work and also T-shirts. 

Outside, there are a few more independent shops that cater to traditional craft and souvenirs. There is also a small cafe serving food and drinks. Try the local 'Bambangan Juice' which is sold in bottles. You will like it! 

workshop at Chanteek Borneo Gallery
A worker sewing clothes for the dolls
Sabahan Dolls
A seamstress does the finishing touches for the beautiful dolls
Chanteek Borneo Gallery Opening Hours:
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday - Saturday: 9.00AM - 6.00PM
Sunday: 10.00AM - 4.30PM
Public Holiday: 9.00AM - 5.00PM 

Chanteek Borneo Gallery Ticket Price
Chanteek Gallery Entrance Fees and other fees
Opening hours for Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Operation hours and activities
Entrance/Ticket Fees:
Entrance is RM15 for adult and RM10 for kids. 
*Locals with MyKad are entitled for MR 5 rebate.

Chanteek Borneo Gallery Information
• Address: Kg. Lakang, Jalan Telibong Tamparuli,
89200 Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia.
• Telephone: + 6 088 792 018
• Email: Chanteek.borneo (at) gmail.com
• Website: http://www.chanteekborneo.com/

Map of Chanteek Borneo Gallery
The map to the Chanteek Borneo Gallery 
How to go to Chanteek Borneo Gallery

Kadazan Dusun Doll
One of the beautiful dolls
The location is pretty simple as it is on the opposite of the main road towards Tamparuli, Sabah. A prominent landmark would be the Upside Down House in Sabah

To drive here, it should take you about 30-40 minutes with decent traffic therefore I would advise to head here in the mornings and get back to KK city before 4pm.

When you drive here, look for the upside down house and when you reach it, just make a u-turn and head back towards Kota Kinabalu, the Chanteek Gallery is actually on your left so keep a look out for the signs. 

To be very honest here, I did not expect such an interesting gallery as I assumed it would be another art gallery in Sabah. But pretty much to my amusement, I spent a good 2 hours here, speaking to Anne and understanding the many different people of Sabah.

For those staying in KK, here is also a list of Free Things to do in Kota Kinabalu which is all walking distance from one another. and if you're wondering about safety, you should read this article about Is Sabah Safe

Since I rented a car and drove around, I found this place with no problem as it was on the way to the Upside Down House here in Tamparuli. There are tour companies that offer limo or van rentals to bring you here otherwise, you can simply rent a car or take a taxi (costly) to visit the very interesting Chanteek Borneo Gallery in Sabah. 



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