Harvest Festival Highlights

The finale of the Pesta Kaamatan is held on the 30th and 31st May 2010. This is a chance for the public, and tourists to experience a celebration of culture and tradition of the natives of Borneo. Pesta Kaamatan, is the Harvest Festival, which are celebrated in many countries throughout the world, including the United States of America. The difference is most other countries celebrate the harvest, which is a good reason to get together and have a good time. Kaamatan celebrates the harvest, of course, but more importantly it is also thanks-giving. And one of the best ways to do that is by celebrating your culture and traditions, while living in a modern world.

I brought my Princess and Angel to KDCA in Penampang today, to join in the fun. Arrived there at about 10.45am, dropped off my family at the entrance and then spent the next 30 minutes looking for a parking spot. Finding a parking spot was not too difficult, only it was half a kilometer from KDCA. It is not the distance, it is the climate and the heat. Today was hot and sunny, with the promise of rain in the afternoon. Walking towards the carnival, I cannot help but think how nice this would be if we had a climate like Ranau. As it was, I got slightly sun-burnt. People, don’t go anywhere without sun-block.

Pesta Kaamatan
The celebrations is held in KDCA, Penampang every year. The venue is also called Hongkod Koisaan. There are traditional styled homes build on the grounds, and these are used to host the open houses during this festival. Visitors are treated to music and dance performances, and have the opportunity to go inside the houses for a look and a brief respite from the heat of the sun. All the tribes will be dressed in traditional costumes and headdress, and it is perfectly alright to be taking photographs with them. It is not often you see some many beautiful native girls dressed in full regalia in one place.

I managed to get some videos of some of the performances. In between keeping an eye on my princesses and one eye on the view-finder, it is an achievement of sorts to come away with some videos. My Princess (she’s 4 years old) actually got a fright during one of the performances. Somehow, she made her way to the front of the stage, and when the Muruts warriors took to the stage, the shrill cries and the lunges of the warriors proved too much for her.

The performance of the Muruts always include the Magunatip and blowpipe demonstration. No matter how many times you have watched it, it is always entertaining. For such an event, the dance is very well choreographed and the participants have put in the hours of practice to ensure a great performance. You can tell the Muruts are the headhunters of Borneo, the warriors performs their dance with parang (short blade) and wooden shields.

I do not know what this performance is called, nor who performed it. Looking at the dance, I call it the Hunters Dance. You can see what scared my Princess at the start of this video. The warriors are skillful and suitably ferocious, and with their poisoned blow darts, you won’t even hear them coming. It is not only the warriors that steal the show, the Murut maidens are just as graceful and a whole lot prettier. The Maiden being carried in is just about the most beautiful girl I have seen all day.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Featured, Living Here. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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