BACK for the second time, the Selangor International Indigenous Art Festival 2016 (SIIAF) takes place tomorrow and Sunday at the Shah Alam National Botanical Gardens.
SIIAF, which drew over 2,000 visitors last year, is expected to draw nearly 6,000 this time around, said Tourism Selangor general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din.
The event, she added, celebrated the cultural heritage of Malaysia’s indigenous peoples from all over the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
There would be 21 domestic indigenous tribes participating and exhibiting their culture.
SIIAF 2016, co-organised by the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (Joas), will also feature eight indigenous communities from South-East Asia and South Asia.
“Joas and Tourism Selangor started calling the embassies early this year and we received good response from the embassies,” said Noorul Ashikin, adding that the participating countries were Cambodia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar and India.
Aside from displaying their handicraft, there will also be live demonstrations on hunting and trapping, along with culinary demonstrations.
During the two-day festival, visitors will also get a chance to try out various local fruits as part of the “Fruit Fiesta” put up by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama).
“This year, we will feature the Mah Meri House after last year’s Temuan village house,” she added.
Joas deputy president Zurdi Baharu, who heads the organising committee, said the festival was a way to connect Malaysia’s indigenous tribes with the public.
“We will try our best to encourage more participation and interaction between our indigenous communities and the larger Malaysian society.
“This is also a good opportunity to teach something of our traditional practices so that people understand our traditional lifestyle and the importance of the environment and preserving it,” said Zurdi.