Pearl Blay explores Nonya Beadworking traditions at Guelph Civic Museum

 January 6, 2014, Guelph, ON:  Nonya Beadworking: 100 Years of Southeast Asian Fusion Culture Crafts will be the focus of a special presentation this Saturday, January 11, 2 pm. Jewellery artisan and instructor Pearl Blay, from the Grand River Beadwork Society, will explore this unique beadworking tradition passed on to her from her grandmother and mother.

  “Kasut manek or Kasut Eh (beaded shoes) are the traditional handicraft of Peranakan women which is still practiced today,” explains Blay. “The women folk are known as nonya or nyonya which probably comes from the Portuguese word ‘dona’ for lady. Their unique fusion culture, including Western influences, can be seen not only in their beadwork but also in many aspects of design such as their traditional dress. My grandmother was a superb machine embroiderer who made the nonya kebaya.”

Pearl Blay’s talk is included with admission:  $4 Adults, $3 Seniors and Students. Free for Guelph Museums members.

Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk Street. The Museum is open daily from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.  For more information, call 519-836-1221 or visit


Posted by Dawn Owen on January 7, 2014