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Tamparuli Sabah - A place to visit

Tamparuli Sabah was known as an old town rich with cultural value and fascinating places. The town located in the middle of Tuaran District, 36KM from the main city of Kota Kinabalu, easy to be found and a lot of surprises waiting for the visitors. The visitor will be fascinated with The Extreme Para Gliding Sport, The legendary of “Bukit Perahu”, Hatob-hatob Waterfall, Hanging Bridge and The Old Suspension Bridge Made by the British in the early 50s, The one and only "The Upside House Of Borneo" and Chantek Borneo Gallery if you visit Tamparuli Sabah. ( Please read more inside this website). For local tourist who likes to travel outside Malaysia, you can e-mail to D7tours and Travel Co through For International tourist who wish to visit Sabah The Land Below The Wind, you can e-mail or call to our correspondent travel agency:

D7-TRAVEL AND TOURS-Registered Travel and Tours Co
H/p: 016-8121702


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Harry George

Tadau Kaamatan Season 2012

It's the Kaamatan season 
By: Tan Sri Herman Luping 

THE song entitled "Nokoikot noh vagu bulan lima" composed and sang by Datuk Sundang Alex is a popular song and we hear it aired in Radio Malaysia, Sabah, Kadazan section almost daily now.
It is one of the many songs composed and sang by Kadazandusun with the harvest festival connection.

The most popular which is almost a signature tune for all harvest festival celebration is the one composed and originally sang by the late Datuk James Ongkili, entitled "Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan".

Both Ongkili's and Sundang's song are popular because of the catchy tunes and also because of the lyrics or wordings in the songs.

The lyrics are very apt for a harvest festival celebration and more, both in fact exhort the Kadazandusun community to unite and celebrate the festival together. In the "Tadau Tagazo do Kaamatan" the term "Kadazan" is used, and its use is to emphasize that all those celebrating are Kadazan - (Kadazan tokou ngaavi). But in the late and early 80s, this term was erased from the song for some reason or other, probably because some people did not like the term Kadazan. I noticed that even the word Kaamatan was replaced by the term "Kokotuan" at one time by a district level celebration.

This, I understand, was a move to try to differentiate the two terms, Kaamatan and Kokotuan, as two different terms: Kaamatan is to refer to the Kadazan faction use of this term and 'Kokotuan" to refer more to the Dusun faction. It seems to me, however, that this is wrong in concept and wrong in the meaning of the two words.

Both the term Kaamatan and Kokotuan are used by both factions - Kadazan or Dusun, to begin with.

However, it is more the meaning of the two terms that differ. Whereas Kaamatan has the connotation of harvesting padi, the term Kokotuan, on the other hand refer more to mean harvesting vegetables.

Kaamatan comes from the term "Mongomot"- harvesting padi and Kokotuan is derived from the word "Mongotu"-to pluck plants such as leaves or vegetables. Obviously the purpose of using Kokotuan in one district level in the late 70s was because of "politics"- an attempt to show differences between the Kadazan faction and the Dusun faction.

Happily this is now a thing of the past. The use of the original song composed and sang by the late Datuk James Ongkili is back in vogue and the term Kadazan is therefore sang with gusto by the singers.

In any case, the young ones singing the song on stage probably do not know what is all the "commotion" about the term.

The month of May was introduced as the Kaamatan festival month by the PBS government in the late 80s.

It was a popular decision by all and the members of the Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) was the first to celebrate the Kaamatan on the last two days of May - 30th and 31st.

Later, the KCA leaders, led by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan decided to change the name of the association to KDCA, meaning, Kadazandusun Cultural Association. Most, if not nearly all Kadazandusun leaders were united under the PBS roof (government) then and the leaders in the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA) were also with the PBS.

Leaders from USDA and KCA then decided to merge the two associations and hence the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) was formed and named. However, USDA was not dissolved as the argument was that if it was dissolved, some one would form another association with the same name.

The important point, however, is that the Month of May was chosen as the month to celebrate the harvest festivals, with all districts given the dates of their respective district level celebration by the leaders running the KDCA.

The 1st of May was also decided as the day when the Kaamatan Harvest festival is kick-started.

The chosen district for the 1st May Kaamatan festival was on a rotation basis, so that every district is given the chance to organise the kick-start celebration. The draw-card for the 1st May kick-start celebration of the Harvest Festival is the Chief Minister who normally comes to launch the month-long Kaamatan celebration.

The President of the KDCA who is also the Huguan Siou, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan is always present in this important event.

The 1st of May kick-start celebration of the Kaamatan has become an institution in the State and more so the two-day Kaamatan celebration on 30th and 31st May every year. The 30th May celebration is nearly always opened by the Chief Minister, in this case, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman and the closing ceremony on the 31st May is performed by TYT the Head of State, Tuan Yang di-Pertua Negeri, in this case, Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Juhar Mahiruddin. Both the Chief Minister and the Head of State are the draw cards for the crowd to come in these occasions.

But the biggest draw card on the final day is probably the Unduk Ngadau (Beauty Queen) contest in the afternoon. The KDCA building is just about bursting to capacity, all because the Unduk Ngadau contest has become very popular. The search for the Kadazandusun Unduk Ngadau is a commemoration of Huminodun, the daughter of Kinoingan and Suminundu who, as the legend says, lived in Nunuk Ragang in the beginning of time for the Kadazandusun. Huminodun, as the legend says, was sacrificed when there was famine and her flesh was turned into padi. Her spirit later was called Bambaazon, the spirit of the padi.

In all the celebrations of the harvest festival, either at the State level, district levels and even at the Kampung levels there is also a fun fair atmosphere. The State level celebrations have grown tremendously from how it was celebrated in the early beginning of a State level celebration of the harvest festival. From a humble beginning, the celebration is now a big one, and probably much more expensive than it was originally.

I remember the first celebration of the harvest festival organised by the Kadazan Society was held at the St Michael's school, Penampang.

It was a simple celebration and a beauty contest was also held.

Later, the celebration was moved to the Kota Kinabalu (Jesselton then) Community Centre.

The celebration was always financed by the late Tun Fuad Stephens who was elected/appointed the first modern day Huguan Siou in 1959 by the Kadazan Society, Penampang. A buffalo was butchered for the occasion. This was traditional in the villages then - the better off villager or Orang Tua providing the finance for the occasion, and a buffalo being butchered was part of celebration.

Some dignitaries - mostly senior civil servants, budding politicians and captains of industry (not many in KK then) were invited to attend.

And the celebration was always held at the KK community centre.

The "Magavau" was also performed. And because of proximity, the bobohizans of Penampang ( from Kg Tua-ui) led by the legendary Penampang bobohizan, Odu Bianti and her students performed the Magavau in the community centre. I believe Odu Bianti is the direct descendant of Monsopiad, a legendary big and strong Kadazan of the era.

There is now a Cultural village called Monsopiad in Penampang today.

This cultural village is a tourist destination area. It is run by Odu Bianti's grandson, hence another direct descendant of Monsopiad, Awad Berjarai.

In fact, the cultural village is going to be the main location for the shooting of the RTM tv series of " "Pangazou", a novel of this title by this writer.

The RTM Tv Series was launched by Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, the Chief Minister, last week.

But back to the Kaamatan festival or Pesta Kaamatan as it is now officially recognised.

The celebration in the early 60s, then was simple and not so expensive. It was a one day affair, and held at the community centre.

Most of the people attending are the members of the Kadazan Society, Penampang and when a political party was formed in 1961, members of the United National Kadazan Organisation (UNKO), and also Tun Stephens friends amongst the British civil servants.

The expenses would not have amounted to more than one thousand dollars, considering that one buffalo in those days cost not more than 500 dollars.

The drinks were hiing or tapai brought over from the villages and soft drinks.

I remember the man who was always in the centre of organizing the celebration was the late Datuk Fred Sinidol. He is the brother-in law ( beras in Kadazan) of Tun Stephens. Fred was the first head of the newly introduced Kadazan section of Radio Sabah then. And so, it was also Fred who first introduced Kadazan music such as the sompoton, the bungkau, the flute and the tongkungon. The musicians for these musical instruments were introduced on stage at the community centre and they played their instruments, much to the enjoyment of those present.

But the most popular presentation was the "Magavau" with the dancers led by the Bobohizans of Penampang with Donsia holding his Pangazou sword high above his head as they danced round and round ( seven times) the stage, all dressed up in their bobohizan attire and headdresses.

Then the sumazau for the invited guests would take place-and always led by the Huguan Siou, Tun Stephens and his wife, Toh Puan Stephens.

Today, things have changed. The Pesta Kaamatan is now a much bigger affair and more expensive to run, I am sure. We cannot stop progress, for such is what has happened. We have progressed - and all for the better.

And today, Pesta Kaamatan is now a much looked-forward to affair by people and has also become an important dates to remember in our calendar, -- by all, including the travel agents for the ever growing number of visitors to our State.


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