Monday, May 03, 2010

Ka'amatan Harvest Festival - In honour of the rice spirit

THE Ka’amatan or Harvest Festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving in honour of the Bambaazon (rice spirit) for a good harvest by the Kadazandusun and Murutic communities in Sabah.

It is celebrated for a month from the first of May throughout Sabah.

The Sabah Tourism Board website states that rice is considered to be more important than the main staple food by most native Sabahans.

They believe that there is a certain sacredness attached to rice, for it is a food given to them by Kinoingan, their Almighty Creator so that his people should never want for food. He had sacrificed his only daughter Huminodun and from her body parts, paddy grew. This was Kinoingan’s ultimate act of benevolence and to this day, the Sabahans repay the deed with various rituals to honour Bambaazon, the spirit of Huminodun as embodied in rice.

One of the most important rituals in this thanksgiving ceremony is the Magavau – a ritual to invite Bambaazon to the Pesta, which can only be conducted by the Bobohizan or the high priestess. Festivities cannot proceed without the presence of Bambaazon and it is through Magavau that the rice spirit is invoked.

Continue reading at: Ka'amatan Harvest Festival - In honour of the rice spirit

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