KOTA KINABALU: An age old Dusun ritual to appease the rice spirits took centrestage at the two-day state level Pesta Kaamatan harvest celebrations.
The ritual known as Bobogo to mark a bountiful padi harvest was performed by a group of Tatana Dusuns from Kuala Penyu in southwest of Sabah and leading them was a chief priest known as Babaga.
The ritual was then followed by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and Kadazandusun paramount leader (Huguan Siou) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan trying their hand at making a sago delicacy known as ambuyat.
Musa later beat the gong to mark the start of the Pesta Kaamatan celebrations at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association grounds in Penampang here yesterday.
The colourful annual celebrations of the Kadazandusun, Murut and Rungus communities saw a series of 11 traditional games, which included a tug-of-war match in which Musa and other VIPs took part.
Among the other games played were rampanau (bamboo stilt walking), mipulos (arm wrestling), momolistik (catapult), membujak (spearing), sumpit (blowpipe), pounding padi husks and gunny sack race.
Visitors were entertained with traditional music and dance by the various ethnic groups at this year's celebrations themed “Cul-tural Understanding The Way Forward”.
Pairin said that it was important for everyone to not only understand their own culture, but also that of other ethnic groups.
“A good understanding of each other's culture will bring about greater unity in our multi-ethnic society,” said Pairin, who is deputy chief minister.
In his speech, Musa said that the state government would support the call by Pairin to set up a Kadazandusun Murut college as it was a right move towards helping the people.
Today will mark the end of the month-long state celebrations with the crowning of the Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) and Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin will officially close the celebrations.
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