Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sabah Fest 2010 - The Legend of Arung Salamiah

After a long break (from blogging) , i ask my self to blog again. This time, i would like to share about our Sabah Fest 2010, The Legendary Quest of Arung Salamiah. It was held on 1 & 2 May 2010 at Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort. I found some interesting picture from Facebook, amazing picture.. lets us enjoy the picture before reading the Story:

Even i was a backstagecrew during that night but i still can sense the happiness, and the joy of this event.
The cutest dancer.. Sapinaz.. hehe.. she can dance and i think, she got the talent.
He is Presley, only 11 years old but can deliver big voice on that night.. i was amazed with the voice hehe..
Papar People
Also Papar People. I think, Penampang and Tambunan also using this kind of costume.. i have to check it back.. yeah...check it Out!
The ending flavoured with the conffeti..
Murut Warriors during Angalang Magunatip
Papar girls
Arung Salamiah & Tanjung Kalang
One of the segment
Lumambai Dance by Sungai People of Kinabatangan Sandakan
Zepen Suara Siam by Tidong People
Arung Salamiah who dissapear at Bohey Dulang Island

Murut Girls...

Script/ Storyboard:

Once upon a time, there lived a very beautiful Bajau maiden on the island of Boheydulang, in the bay of Semporna. She was called Salamiah, and was renowned for her extraordinary beauty and grace. She had an unusually fair complexion and clear brown eyes. Her knee-long and lustrous ebony hair was streaked with gold strands. When she walked her hair would create a soft swishing sound that would herald her approach.

Salamiah was kind, gentle and gracious as she was beautiful. A talented musician she could sing and play the gabbang, the wooden xylophone. Her mellifluous singing voice could magically soothe and comfort the weary, and bring joy and laughter to any festive gathering or event in the village.

Her radiant beauty and musical talents were renowned throughout the islands of Semporna, and thus, was widely sought after in marriage. But Salamiah was already promised to Tanjung Kalang, a childhood friend in her village.

One evening, a flotilla of boats and a richly decorated palanquin suddenly arrived on the beach. It was chieftain, Datu Atik. He heard of Salamiah’s beauty and talents and wanted to ask for her hand in marriage. Now, Datu Atik had a nefarious reputation. He also had many wives. Salamiah’s parents were afraid of him, and quickly hid her in a cave in Bukit Bodgaya overlooking the bay. As they ascended to the cave, the sky became suddenly dark and stormy. Fiery lightning lit the sky and torrential rain fell. Just as suddenly the storm also ended abruptly. When Datu Atik asked for her, the villagers mounted a search but Salamiah had vanished.

When Tanjung Kalang heard about the intention of Datu Atik, he and his friends challenged him to fight. Realising that he and his companions were outnumbered Datu Atik quickly retreated to his boat and sailed back home.

After that, Tanjung Kalang fell very ill. His anxious parents called for the local shaman to diagnose his ailment and heal him through the Panansang dance. He recovered and was told to go on a long journey to search for Salamiah. Thus, began Tanjung Kalang’s legendary quest for his beloved.

On the appointed day of his departure Tanjung Kalang bade farewell to his family and the villagers and sailed away in his boat.

The weather had clear skies and calm sea, so Tanjung Kalang unfurled his sails. An easterly wind blew speeding up his journey. When evening came as the stars began to twinkle he heard in the distance the rhythmic sounds of big drums and the call of the Azan prayer. Like a beacon, these sounds drew him nearer and nearer to their source. He then saw a group of men carrying torches along the shore walking to a building.

He moored his boat, disembarked and followed them. The men greeted him and he asked them what they were doing. They introduced themselves as the Tidong people and said they were going to the mosque to pray and invited him to join them. They said a special prayer for him. Later the kind-hearted Tidong people entertained him with their unique dance called the Zepen Suara Siam or “the voices that calls,” that was the Zapin dance accompanied by the sound of the Bedok drums.

The next day, he thanked them for their hospitality and explained his quest, then proceeded on with his journey. They gave directions for him to travel upstream on the Kinabatangan River to see the animal kingdom and the river people, the Orang Sungai.

As he sailed upstream he was amazed by what he saw. He saw elephants grazing along the river, crocodiles looking like log rafts, and countless flocks of birds of different sizes and colours skimming the waters and tree canopies. As he gazed at the tree tops he saw red apes called orang utans, and peculiar monkeys with huge noses that looked like Dutchmen, and frolicking monkeys swinging from tree to tree.

On the river banks he saw women and children washing and swimming, while men repaired their boats, fished or tended their nets. Curious, he decided to disembark and meet these people. They were the river people who have a strong relationship with the river.

They greeted him, and invited him to a feast where they performed the Lumumbai dance, to welcome him. He saw they played on wooden musical instruments and a wooden xylophone which was similar to that used in his village. Intrigued by his quest, they offered help providing two men to accompany him on the overland journey. After several days of trekking through the jungle they reached the foot of Mt Kinabalu. Exhausted they rested.

Tanjung Kalang leaned against a tree and fell asleep. He did not know it was a sacred ground of the Kadazandusun people. While he slept Salamiah appeared to him in a dream, dressed like a princess with a golden crown and wearing dazzling silver garments. She told him that she was no longer human and had become a fairy queen. The fairy folk had repaid her kindness for taking great care to preserve and protect the environment, the abode of the fairy folk. Grateful, they hid her to prevent abduction by the obnoxious chieftain. She was happy in fairy land and no longer wished to return to the human world. She advised him to forget her and return home as his family were anxious about his fate.

When Tanjung Kalang woke up, he heard rhythmic sounds of sindavang, like several clashing cymbals, in the distance. With his two companions they followed the sounds of the music which brought them eventually to Papar. A group of bobohizan, male and female were performing an unusual dance with arms outstretched and a white shawl draping their shoulders which they called Sazau Bobohizan. He had never seen a dance like it before: the women with the shawls looked very solemn as they danced. They explained that it was a sacred dance to say farewell and guide the spirits of the dead to Mt Kinabalu. Tanjung Kalang then realised the ritual significance of Mt Kinabalu for the Kadazandusun people, and how he was able to dream of Salamiah.

As he prepared for his return journey home, the Kadazan of Papar were also planning a trip to Bongawan nearby to attend a big healing ritual celebration. They persuaded him to delay his journey, and invited him to attend the healing ritual ceremony with them. His two companions decided to attend the ritual as well. So off they went in a large entourage.

When they arrived at Bongawan, they saw a parade of people carrying trays of offerings consisting of young areca nuts called Mayang, a red scarf called selendang, a fan or kipas with burning incense on each tray. A group of shamans called pangubat performed a dance, called Mangalai, to heal several young girls. This was followed by a dance called Dang Mangalai and miraculously all this girl were cured and stood up and performed the dance as well and everyone who attended the ritual were very happy. This was followed by a thanksgiving ritual and merrymaking. Drawn by the warm hospitality accorded even to strangers he decided to stay the night.

The next day he embarked on his overland journey to Tawau to return home. On the way he encountered a group of Murut people from the Serudong area. These people were very friendly and invited him to stay and join them for a hunting expedition. This was a communal event that involved their kindred Murut tribes from Nabawan, Keningau and Tenom.

After a very successful hunt they celebrated with drinking, feasting, and dancing. The hosts, the Serudong Murut, launched the evening festivities by performing the Ansuali dance, followed by Angalang Magunatip.

After three days of merry making, he began his journey home. He felt home was very near. When he arrived on the seashore the whole village came out to greet him and welcome him home. A huge feast was held in his honour. During the feast, he narrated the marvels of his journey. He said he encountered the most amazing people, who observed and practised unusual and colourful customs and traditions. Most of all he said he enjoyed their generous welcome to their villages and homes, and was deeply touched by their kind-hearted offers to help in his quest. The overwhelming generosity and kindness of these people and other wonders of his journey were a miraculous balm to help him to forget Salamiah and ease the pain of losing her. The marvels of his journey became more vivid and soon they replaced his fading memories of Salamiah.

Script Writer: Ms Judeth John Baptist
Sabah Museum