KENINGAU: Sabah showcases its colourful traditions and culture once again as the celebrations of Pesta Kaamatan, or Harvest Festival, of the Kadazandusun and Murut communities begin in interior Keningau.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman led the month-long celebrations in the state with the symbolic cutting of the padi stalk and beating of the gong at the Keningau community centre here on Wednesday.
The celebrations will conclude with a state-level closing by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah in Penampang near Kota Kinabalu.
Some 2,000 people joined in the celebrations, where 30 booths were set up to showcase ethnic handicraft, food and costumes of people from Sabah's Keningau and Tenom districts.
Traditional dances and ceremonies were also held here, where Culture, Youth and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir and Minister in Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok were present.
Kadazandusun Murut Cultural Association president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is the Huguan Siou, or Paramount Leader, of the Kadazandusun community and Sabah Murut Association president Datuk Rubin Balang were also among those at the festivities.
Musa, in his speech, said that the Pesta Kaamatan had gained national recognition and the celebrations were included in the national tourism calendar of events.