Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Month-long showcase of Sabah’s cultural heritage

KOTA KINABALU: A colourful array of multi-ethnic cultures is set to dazzle visitors to Sabah Fest 2006 next month.

A ritual dance or Sumayau by Tuaran’s Lotud Dusun folks will be showcased at the event to be attended by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah on May 5.

Sumayau is performed during the Rumah, a ceremony to honour the spirit of skulls or the Mangahau rituals for the spirit of sacred jars, said Sabah Tourism Board chairman Tengku Datuk Dr Zainal Adlin.

“This is just one of the fascinating traditional dances to be featured at the launch,” he said, adding that more than 500 musicians, dancers and crews will come together to stage this spectacular cultural extravaganza.

Tengku Adlin said that this year’s festival would see the involvement of ethnic groups from five districts in Sabah – Kota Marudu, Beaufort, Tuaran, Semporna and Lahad Datu.

“It shows a positive response from the public, especially the rural folks, to be involved in such a big event to showcase their cultural dances, music, food and many more,” he said, adding that last year only two districts were involved.

Apart from the colourful performances, visitors will get to sample local delicacies such as the cakes and traditional foods as well as witness live demonstrations by skilled handicraft makers.

“Many ethnic groups will be displaying their crafts such as bead-making, lepa making and traditional woven cloths,” Tengku Adlin added.

Also on show will be the skills of women from Kota Belud and Kudat who will be weaving traditional cloths like the Dastar, Tinohian and Rinangkit.

“This is a perfect opportunity to witness Sabah’s rich cultural heritage through a myriad of song, dance, music and handicraft,” he said, adding that throughout May many activities and programmes have been lined up to celebrate Sabah Fest.

The Sabah Fest is open to the public. For tickets, call Susan Shahira of Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd (088- 232121).

Source: The Star

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