KOTA KINABALU: The splendour of Sabah’s indigenous cultures came to the fore again as the Kadazandusun and Murut communities celebrated the close of the month-long Pesta Kaamatan.
Thousands of people flocked to the grounds of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association’s Hongkod Koissan Hall here yesterday to join in the festivities. A symbolic cutting of padi stalks and the beating of a gong by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah marked the close of the celebrations.
Joining Ahmadshah were Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman, Kadazandusun Huguan Siou (paramount leader) Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, federal ministers Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, and deputy Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiat.
The cultural showcase got underway with the giving of thanks to the spirit of the padi or Bambarayon which was performed by Kadazandusun priests, known as Bobohizans, from the Tambunan district.
This was followed by the traditional dances of Sabah’s various ethnic communities including the Idahan, Lundayeh, Dusun Tatana, Bonggi, Murut and Tidong.
Outside the hall, traditional music and dances entertained visitors, who were also treated to a wide variety of traditional food.
Musa said that apart from promoting and preserving Sabah’s cultural riches, the Kaamatan celebrations played an important role in the state's tourism development.
Pairin said the celebrations fostered and strengthened unity among the people.
The celebrations wrapped up with the crowning of the Sabah Unduk Ngadau or Beauty Queen.