Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sabah Fest showcases diverse cultures

KOTA KINABALU: A legend surrounding a delicacy from caves in the east coast is showcasing the state’s diverse ethnic cultures in this year’s Sabah Fest.

The legend tells the folktale from the Ida’an and Dusun Begak communities about how a warrior Aki Apoi and his hunting dog Sikol Gayoh who tracked an unusual deer with golden fur to a series of caves in what is now known as the Madai Caves in Kunak district.

When cornered in one of the caves locally known as agop, the deer tells Apoi to spare his life in exchange for the treasures found there.

The treasures turn out to be nests of swiftlets that eventually attracted explorers from China and that formed the basis of the early trade between them and the ethnic communities in Sabah.

The Sabah Fest musical called Agop would showcase the cultures of not only the Dusun Begak and Ida’an but also the Sungei and Dusun Subpan of the east coast districts.

The performances would also highlight the cultures of lesser known ethnic communities such as the Tidong of Tawau, Dusun Sandayoh of Paitan and Dusun Melangkap of Kota Belud apart from the Chinese community.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said Chinese cultural performances at Sabah Fest reflected their significance of their presence in Sabah’s history and culture as they have been here since the 15th century.

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