Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The month of May, is the busiest and exuberant month for the indigenous of Sabah. In this joyous month, 32 tribes with more than 80 dialects will join together to celebrate this meaningful occasion. Pesta kaamatan generally means “Harvest Festival”. It is intricately connected with rice cultivation and with a cycle of life. Rice is Sabah golden crop, it is the grain of life and Pesta Kaamatan marks the end of the planting cycle. It is intimately related to the ethnicity ranging from culture, social strata and mostly of all religion. If you want a glimpse of Sabah’s origin and nativity, and at the same time capture the true spirit of the mystical “Land below the Wind” this is the time to visit us!
A Short History of Pesta Kaamatan
The life of the people in Borneo, essentially that of hunters, subsistence rice farmers and wild fruits collectors. The livelihood which involve everyone from youngest to the eldest, man and woman was a hard one. Preparing rice fields, collecting firewoods, weeding, prepare seedlings, planting, watching out for crops to harvesting ripe crops involved back-breaking process. But it wasn’t just the labor intensive nature that caused such veneration for the crops; a natural disaster such as flood, drought, and herbicides has become the main obstacle, not enough rice meant famine. Over decades of years rice cultivation superstitious and taboo sprung up, no one thanks God for rice more gratefully then the humble farmer.
"Huminodun"- by Yee-I Lann, produced the rich historical of Photographing was exhibited at the national Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The Mengavau Ceremony
“Mengavau” literally means to recover what one has lost, by whatever means, it is a thanksgiving ritual, led by a female religious priest called “Bobohizan”. When the Bobohizan cuts the first shoot of ripe paddy grains to mark the beginning of the harvesting time, a long beckoning prayer is recited to invite “Bambaazon” to return home to the household rice barns to rest until the time comes for selecting the grains to be sown anew.
Nowadays, such festival is open to all, merry making feast take place and “The natives” celebrate them in more of a joyous way. “Tapai”, which is a formed of rice wine were served in a small bamboo cups or a big ceramic jar. When one is salute with the word “Aramaiti”, it means “cheers” to the festive. As the non-stop "Tapai” pouring goes, the spirit of sharing, forgiving and fellowship is practiced, the harmonious mingling and interactions of the Kaamatan celebrates who come from all walks of life, from various colours, creed and cultural tradition. The continuous bit of gongs and Sumazau dance to the joyous rhythm continue for days. “Sumazau is the traditional kadazanDusun that every generation of the origins has learned to live.
The Cultural dance- Mengunatip has become an international
performance each varies from 32 tribal of North Borneo.
From Ethnicity to Nationalism
Nowadays, we do not solely rely on rice cultivation nor we have such plentiful land where we can plant rice but we celebrate Kaamatan every year to embrace our tradition. In the capital of Sabah, kota Kinabalu city, everybody works in government offices or private company and so on, it varies so much. However in the individual context, people from all walks of life come together and interact with one another in order to nurture and strengthen friendship (silatul-rahim), which was established among us without distinguishing between ethnic group and religion. Be it differ in colour, culture, language and even religion. The community of Sabah has never deviate from the “1 Malaysia” concept.
My beloved Kadazan Family
Aron, Charmaine and Zachary Mobijohn
Taking this opportunity, i wish you all " Kotobian Tadao Tagozo Do kaamatan" ; Aramaiti! and have fun with the "Tapai" ",Sumazau" dance as well as experience the "Bahar" "Lihing" and "Montoku" !
My next blog will feature one of the Unduk Ngadau winner from Tuaran District- Caroline Anthony ....