Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Captivated by Bajau horsemen of Kota Belud, Sabah

Visitors to this small town had a treat this weekend with the appearance of the Bajau horsemen, usually only spotted during the annual grand tamu.

Dubbed the "cowboys of the east", the Bajau are famed for their horsemanship and colourful costumes — what they wear and what they drape on their ponies.

Visitors to the Kota Belud Cultural Carnival, especially foreign tourists, were enthralled by the colourful parade, traditional dances and display of cultures. Many tried riding Bajau ponies.

The carnival began with a kenduri adat or cultural feast at the town mosque on Friday and continued with other highlights such as a traditional handicraft exhibition, traditional costume fashion show, and cultural performances and games.

The two-day event was organised to strengthen community ties and foster greater appreciation of Sabah’s diverse cultures.

While the Bajau men are famed for their horsemanship, their women are well known for their fine-woven cloth, called dastar.

Courtesy of New Straits Times

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