Thursday, May 06, 2010

Display of living heritage at Sabah museum

Kota Kinabalu: Drop by the Heritage Village at the Sabah Museum ground between now and May 9, and chances are that you get an eager welcome dance from the authentic ethnic groups brought in from all corners of the State for the Sabah Fest 2010.

For instance, the Bajau House sprang to life with a limbaiyan dance from a tall, petite Bajau Kubang maiden from Bumbum Island, Semporna, who was quickly joined by a middle aged man swinging to the steps of the sayaw dance, the moment visitors drew near.

"Please don't mix us up with the Bajau Laut, we are not Bajau Laut (sea gypsies)," the male dancer told Daily Express, indicative of the pride and sensitivity each sub-ethnic group of the diverse 32 ethnic groups attaches to their distinct ethnic identity.

"The limbaiyan dance is a very graceful, very soothing and very gentle dance that blends with their music," noted Judeth John Baptiste, assistant senior research curator with the Sabah Museum.

"Small wonder it is often performed as a welcome dance and at social functions, although it was associated with rituals in the past," Judeth added.

Costumes-wise, the maiden dancer's elaborate royal purple blouse with contrasting yellow pants drew instant attraction. "Typical of the Bajau Kubang people, they are very vibrant and adaptive," said Judeth.

Hence Sabah's jumble of ethnic groups ignites little conflict but rather exhibits great traditional tolerance which stimulates interest and admiration far and wide and this message of harmony is encouraged by the Sabah Fest.

"Sabah's brand is diversity," according to Sitti Damsal, General Manager of Sri Peloncongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, the main organisers of the Sabah Fest.

Continue reading at: Display of living heritage at Sabah museum

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