By Allan G Dumbong
During the Kaamatan Celebration 2007, a new Kaamatan innovation was introduced by one Kadazandusun woman entrepreneur, Ms Clare Bernard, from Kg Pogunon, Penampang. It has converted an idle bamboo hut in the Hongkod Koisaan compound into an elegant traditional costume gallery. This is considered a new product and service innovation offered by the Kadazandusun community as has never been offered at any Kaamatan celebration before.
According to Ms Clare Bernard, the traditional costume’s gallery is concentrating on the traditional costume which we can find in Sabah, such as the Kadazan Penampang, Kadazan Papar, Lotud, Rungus, Dusun Tindal, Murut, Bajau and others.
Its main service is photo taking session with traditional costume. It also sells and rent out the Kadazandusun traditional costumes.
Besides the traditional costume, the entrepreneur is also making batik based on local ethnics’ motifs. “We are using the pattern of the traditional costumes to design our batik and it is exclusively design for one person per design”, said Bernard.
The main objective of this gallery is to keep the Kadazandusun traditional costumes identity alive so that the future generation can enjoy and be familiar with their traditional costumes. Secondly, it also aims to educate and to provide information specifically in traditional costume that can be found in Sabah. Thirdly, it creates another business opportunity that compliments other business activities during the Kaamatan as well as the Kadazandusun business and economy in general. Fourthly, it hopes that the gallery is eventually being known and get associated with other indigenous costume organizations internationally.