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The wood carving on the hilt and sheath (taguban) of parang (machete) created by the Bajau craftsmanship in Kota Belud is well-known for its uniqueness across Sabah. This study discusses the stylisation and value of appreciation from the philosophy of Bajau’s craftsmanship and the influence of the wood carving motif designs. The subject of birds is interpreted as a pattern in wood carving on either on the hilt, the tagubantaguban (sheath) or bladed weapon. Among the examples of bird’s subjects include hornbills, birds, manuk (rooster) and naga (dragons). This study aims to comprehend Bajau’s parang weapons, addressing the bird’s motif and its connection to mythical and cosmological values and why the study of the values expressed Bajau craftsmanship concerning the principles of Malay aesthetics as it expands the cultural reach of the Bajaus across the Malay Archipelago. This research is conducted through in-depth interviews with Bajau parang craftsmen as well as through participant observation at their workshop and exhibitions. Semantic Differential method is used in the research to understand what the larger community of Bajau craftsmen recognise to be the values inherent in their artform. The authors refer to Zakaria Ali’s six principles of Malay aesthetics to understand how the parang-wood carving traditions of the Bajau conform to these principles. It is within this early cosmopolitan history that the bird design motif can be understood as a motif that embodies both local
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