Harvest beauties: Contestants of the Kota Marudu district-level Harvest Queen contest parading during the launch of the state’s Harvest Festival celebrations at the Kota Marudu community hall. — Bernama
KOTA KINABALU: The age-old ceremony to appease the rice spirits marked the start of Sabah’s month-long Kaamatan or harvest festival celebrations.
About a dozen bobolian or Kadazandusun priestesses performed the papasalakoi bambarayon ceremony at the community hall in Kota Marudu, which is one of the state’s key rice-growing areas.
Also known as magavau, the ceremony for the thanksgiving of a bountiful harvest was witnessed by many people including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Also present was the Huguan Siou or Kadazandusun paramount chief Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also Deputy Chief Minister.
In his speech, Musa said the
state government would continue to support the celebration of cultural festivals that promoted unity among Sabah’s diverse communities.
He added that cultural events such as Kaamatan should remind the people about the values their ancestors upheld such as cooperation and mutual respect.
Earlier, Musa harvested nine padi stalks at the hall accompanied by the beating of gongs and joined other leaders and a group of students to sing festive songs.
The two-day finale of the celebrations would be held at the Hongkod Koisaan hall in Penampang from May 30 with cultural and traditional sports events and the crowning of this year’s Unduk Ngadau at the closing of the celebrations on May 31.