Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bidayuhs celebrate Gawea Festival

BAU: The Bidayuh village of Kampung Serasot near here chose to celebrate the Gawea Festival on Saturday (June 20) instead of June 1.

Yet, that did not stop thousands from flocking to the village to join in the celebration.

According to villagers of the Jagoi Bidayuh Dayak sub-ethnic settlement, the Gawea celebration held last week was their version of Gawai Dayak – the only difference is that it is usually celebrated after June 1, the official date for Gawai Dayak in the state.

They claimed that the Gawea in their village is one of the state’s iconic Dayak festivals and is very popular even among outsiders.

One of the villagers, Henshell ‘Kojek’ Ranged, when interviewed during the festival commented that during Gawea the main activities were ceremonies held at the village’s ‘Boli Gawea’, which is a house specifically used to host the events.

“Female shamans will be stationed at the Boli Gawea and their duties are to recite prayers, as they sit on a swing, thanking our deities for a good harvest this year and requesting for a good harvest in the next paddy planting season. Male villagers would play the gong just outside the Boli Gawea during the process,” added Henshell.

Henshell, who is known as Kojek by the villagers, said an altar of offerings was placed outside the Boli Gawea during the celebration.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Bidayuhs celebrate Gawea Festival