Malaysian artisan keeps lion-head making tradition alive

STORY: This Malaysian artisan has spent 40 years crafting lion heads

a popular item during Lunar New Year celebrations

Siow How Phiew says he’s one of only 10 lion-head artisans left in Malaysia

[Siow How Phiew / Lion-head maker]

“To me, it is a type of culture, it will never just disappear, unless you give it up. Actually, I believe that even if you give it up, others will still preserve this profession. So, in that way, when it comes to our trade of making lion heads, it will never be lost. So, if I don’t do it today, someone will do it tomorrow. It comes down to your responsibility of making it the best it can be.”

The traditional lion dance involves performers mimicking a lion's movements

with the hope of bringing prosperity for the new year