Wood carving is a reputable craft in Southeast Asia. Carving in relief and engraving techniques are widely used. Chisels and knives are essential to various types of wood.
Geometry and flora are the most popular motifs. the influence of Islam means that the Muslim carvers of Malaysia and Brunei only create designs with flowers, leaves, vines and Arabic characters. They never carve human or animal motifs whereas those patterns are frequently seen elsewhere, such as in the carving traditions of the Bamar (Myanmar) or the Zhuang (South China).