Kaamatan festival brightens isolated Kadazandusun village
23 May 2010

May 22, 2010, Saturday

KOTA KINABALU: Surrounded by thick jungles in the hills of the Crocker Range of Penampang, lies a sleepy hollow called Kampung Kalanggaan.Here, a small Kadazandusun community recently observed tradition to celebrate the Kaamatan harvest festival.

And with much enthusiasm, too.

While the village does not boast of proper roads, electricity or concrete buildings, the community made up for it with its zeal and passion during the festive celebration. A small wooden community centre served as the main venue for the festival held over two days, beginning May 16, complete with a feast, songs and ‘sumazau’ dances, as well as fun and games for all. It takes about eight hours to reach the village on foot from the nearest road link in Togudon.

There are only 12 houses occupied by less than 50 people within a three-kilometre radius of the community centre. State assistant finance minister and Moyog assemblyman Donald Mojuntin, who led an entourage to attend the celebration, had the honour of becoming the first elected representative to witness the Kaamatan festival.

“It took us back into a time when life was simple and everyone appreciated a good rice harvest,” he told reporters here yesterday.

The community also plants tobacco for extra income that would be used to buy salt, cooking oil, sugar and fuel, he said, adding that the community comprised subsistence farmers who planted rice, maize and tapioca. Kaamatan festival organiser Darius Gihol said the community was grateful for the entourage of 10 visitors who came to celebrate the festival with them.

“When we have guests, we feel honoured because of the trouble they take to come here,” said the assistant village security and development committee chairman. — Bernama