Traditional musical and dance presentation by seven of Sabah’s minority groups are set to mesmerise the audience at the two-day state Harvest Festival (“Pesta Kaamatan”) to be staged at the Hongkod Koisaan building in Penampang here on Monday.
The seven chosen groups –the Bonggi from the island of Banggi, the Kimaragang from Kota Marudu, the Tindal from Kota Belud, the Nabai from the Interior, the Paitan, Lanas and Lobou from the East Coast–will for the first time, present their unique forms of song and dance to the outside world.
Sabah’s Kadazandusun Cultural Association Vice President, Evelyn Gobile said the musicians and dancers involved will be housed in a special tent put up for them beside the neighbouring Hongkod Koisaan building.
“This is a very different and unique state harvest festival we’re holding this year, arranged by the Sabah Musuem. Not many of the locals can put claim to having seen these shows out of the natural environment.
“Each year we try to bring forth the talents of various minorities to enhance the state’s tourist attractions,” she told Bernama Friday.
Evelyn, also state committee member for the Harvest Festival’s main committee said, to enrich the general public’s understanding of the Kadazandusun people, interactive lifestyles in their traditional homes are on display in “open houses” presented by 12 minority groups in 11 permanent structures.
Kadazandusun Murut ritual activities such as “Magavau” will also be given a large slot in the agenda of ‘welcoming guests in the traditional way’, which will be part of this year’s closing ceremony whereby unity will be cemented, with all participants, including visitors, wearing traditional outfits, she said.
Unique competitions such as the ” Sugandoi Kaamatan” (singing contest) and the finals of the “Unduk Ngadau” (beauty contest) will see full participation by all representatives from each main district, as well as the smaller districts of Labuan Federal Province and Klang Valley.
Evelyn said that this year two new categories will be held — the “Sugandoi Dazanak” for children and the “Juara Kugiran Inovasi Kaamatan” (Innovative Harvest Festival Band Champion).
As is the norm in any large gathering of its kind, the most awaited ceremony is the crowning of the new beauty queen and the Kadazandusun people are no exception to this rule as they wait excitedly for their 2005 Kadazandusun Queen to be nominated.
Seven “Unduk Ngadau” (beauty contestants) is in line with the concept of seven padi stalks and seven strikes of the gong, signifying the seven “Bambaazon”, “Bambarayon” or priestesses believed to be within each grain of rice that is eaten.
Evelyn said that the 11 musical groups, which use bamboo as their medium, will go against each other in the finals on May 30.
This year’s harvest festival with the theme, “Penghayatan Kaamatan Memperkukuh Perpaduan” (Celebrating Harvest Festival Strengthens Unity) is celebrated in stages all over the state for a whole month, starting from May 1 when it was launched by the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman in Tambunan.
— BERNAMA, May 27th 2005