KOTA KINABALU – A little known Kadazandusun art form called hiis or poetry recitation took centre stage at a cultural extravaganza to mark the end of Sabah’s month-long Kaamatan or Harvest Festival.
The recitation by a group of secondary school students from Bundu Tuhan near Mount Kinabalu was the first to be featured at the state-level Kaamatan celebration.
The poem tells about the everyday life of the Kadazandusun community, including how the padi is harvested.
Earlier, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman harvested seven padi stalks to open the festivities at the Hongkod Koisaan (Unity Hall) in Penampang.
Also present was Huguan Siou or Kadazandusun paramount leader Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister.
A group of bobohizans or Kadazandusun elders from Penampang later performed a thanksgiving ceremony for a bountiful harvest. This was followed by a series of ethnic dances from the various districts, including the sumazau of Penampang, sazau of Papar and mongigol of Kudat.
Meanwhile, Kerinah Mah outshone 43 other contestants to take home this year’s Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) crown.
In second spot was Shareene Francis Loudin of Penampang while third placing went to Arveyna Pamella Januin of Papar.
Various events were held outside the hall, including music and dances from Sabah’s other ethnic communities such as the Dusun Sinobo of Tongod, Dusun Lebou of Sok and Dusun Luba of Kota Marudu.
The crowd also had the opportunity to participate in traditional sports like shooting with a blowpipe, spear throwing, carrying sacks of padi and arm wrestling.
Musa later announced a RM1mil grant for the refurbishment of the Hongkod Koisaan. – The Star Online