Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sape Competition at Baram Regatta

MARUDI: Other communities in Sarawak are into sape music invented by the Orang Ulu.

Telang Usan assemblyman said traditionally the Kenyah used sape music as an accompaniment to their traditional dances.

But world renowned sape player Jerry Kamit of Iban origin and the Ibans and Kelabits have adopted it as their own genre of music.

“This shows that this traditional music is no longer the domain of the Kayan-Kenyah,” Dennis said when officiating at the finals of the Sape Competition at Marudi Town Square on Thursday night. It was held as part of activities of the Baram Regatta.

Among those present were Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, Robert Laing; Resident of Miri Division, Antonio Kahti Galis and Baram District Officer Joseph Belayong.

According to Dennis, the Orang Ulu nevertheless should be proud that their brand of music was gaining popularity in the international stage.

He challenged them to produce at least 20 proficient sape players in each of their villages tasked to perform live sape music during major ceremonies.

“It is rather shameful to see beautifully dressed ladies dance to sape music played on CD or DVD as no one can play the sape,” he lamented.

He said although the sape had evolved with the times from a two-stringed to seven-stringed instrument, there must be concerted efforts to preserve it so the culture and tradition of the Orang Ulu would not become extinct

Dennis said the Sape Competition initiated since 2008 was part of efforts to recognise the role of the sape in the culture of the Orang Ulu. The two-stringed instrument was once believed to have mystical power.

“Its music provides the spirit or soul of the dance, the environment in which to express who you are; beauty and grace for the women to attract warriors in the era of headhunting and strength, and dexterity for the men to attract the attention of the women of their dreams,” he said.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sape Competition at Baram Regatta

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