KDM costumes display

KOTA KINABALU: Traditional costumes in the State, especially from the Kadazandusun communities should be preserved and documented for research, said Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) President Huguan Siou Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Such efforts, he said, are needed so that the future generation will have a cultural reference.

"I hope our culture will always be preserved as it is, regardless of the modernisation that we are experiencing now," he said, in a speech read by KDCA deputy president Datuk Seri Clarence Bongkos Malakun, during the opening of the Unduk Ngadau Gallery at the Hongkod Koisaan KDCA, Saturday.

Towards this end, Pairin commended the initiatives taken by the KDCA Women Council on establishing the gallery.

"After almost 58 years of officially celebrating the Kaamatan Festival with the Unduk Ngadau as its highlight, we finally have a dedicated Unduk Ngadau Gallery.

"This is a testament of the importance of this part of our culture. The Unduk Ngadau pageant has not only helped to preserve our culture but is also the oldest and longest-running cultural pageant held in Sabah to date."

While the contestants are required to wear traditional costumes, he said, over the years, the costumes had gone various phases of modifications.

"I was made to understand that the Unduk Ngadau Gallery will display the original traditional costumes as a reference for all district Unduk Ngadau organisers as well as Kadazandusun future generations," he said.

He added, the KDCA Women Council worked hard to get the gallery ready for the last few months.

"With a minimal budget from both their fund raising activities and support from Sumuni Sdn Bhd and the KDCA Central Committee, the gallery is finally ready.

"I believe the gallery will be part of the Hongkod Koisaan's cultural heritage attractions for tourists.

"The space is very small but is a good start and I hope the request from the KDCA Women Council to extend the gallery will be approved by the Central Committee."

KDCA Women Council chairperson Joanna Datuk Kitingan who is also the State-level Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan organising chairperson said, it is the responsibility of the council to make sure that the young generation know the proper way of wearing traditional costumes as well as the meaning of the motifs on the costumes.

"As the Unduk Ngadau chairperson for the last five years, our committee has emphasised on the back-to-basics traditional costumes.

"We have also requested for the documentation of materials and accessories from each district Unduk Ngadau chairperson," she said.

Currently, she said, the gallery housed seven traditional and contemporary ethnic-inspired costumes, and she is expecting the collection to grow bigger soon.

"We hope that with the starting of our small collection in the gallery, we can expand it into a museum that exhibits all ethnic groups under the KDCA."

Also present were KDCA Cultural Village chairperson Sairah Indan, 2018 State-level Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan Hosiani James Jaimis, and past crown holders of the annual pageant. - Ricardo Unto

(Source from Daily Express, Sunday, December 23, 2018)