Monday, May 20, 2013

Red: Sarawak Music

I am showcasing the music of the land of my birth. I returned to Sarawak recently and in 2009. I went to Mulu  and to long houses in Binatang and Sarikei.

When you visit Sarawak in Borneo, especially the week during the Gawai or harvest festival, which in is 10 days from now. There will be a lot of feasting and dancing. You will hear the music of the indigenous people.

The sape is one of the string instruments from the lute family, which has a short neck.
It is made from soft wood, usually the meranti's. The sape has quite an elongated body which is hollowed out and functions as a resonator. I was entertained by this musician when I went to Mulu Caves. Some one fondly dubbed it as the Sarawak guitar.

See a traditional dance from Sarawak.

This last piece is played by a Kelabit, my brother in law K and Sis in law A are Kelabits from the Bario Highlands in Borneo.

This is a Penan or Punan woman. The Penans are nomadic people in Sarawak,Borneo. Here she is using her nose to play a flute.

My younger brother, Dr Henry Chan, an anthropologist spent a lot of time in the jungle with them.

 These are repeats from the welcoming ceremony  by the Iban longhouse when we The Kai Chung school went to visit. The typical Iban agung ensemble will include a set of 

engkerumungs (small agungs arranged together side by 

side and played like a xylophone)

I asked my hostess if I could try, and she was happy to teach me.
I wasn't synchronized, but my mentor didn't laugh at me.


Here I dance the Nyajat with my brother Henry and his wife Elley.  My mentor Awa would be very proud of me.


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Thanks for a little taste of the music (and colors) that mean so much to you!

Ruby Stained Glass

Karen said...

Lovely photos Ann. I really enjoyed the music and dance videos!