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.
By K.KASTURI DEWI PENANGITES had the opportunity to celebrate Sabah’s Hari Kaamatan or Harvest Festival at Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel recently. The annual festival, also known as Tadau Kaamatan, saw dancers in elaborately beaded costumes, performing traditional dances such as the Sumazau. The dancers were almost floating effortlessly in their rhythmically paced steps. Although living away from home, the Sabahans put in much effort to show and share their rich cultural and ethnic background with the locals. The event is one of the biggest and most colourful multi-ethnic celebrations among the predominantly Kadazandusun, Iban, Murut, Rungus, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu farming communities. Besides the traditional dances, the celebration also saw a singing contest where seven contestants took part. The contestants mainly rendered songs related to the Harvest Festival. National Unity and Integration Department director-general Datuk Azman Amin Hassan who represented Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the event was a way of keeping the tradition alive. “It also fosters unity and promotes cultural awareness among Malaysians of our rich multi-cultural diversity,” he said. Azman said this was one of the reasons foreign tourists were impressed with Malaysia. The celebration was organised by National Unity and Integration Department and Penang branch of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA). Source: The Star, Tuesday May 8, 2007