Saturday, June 2, 2007

Kaamatan (Rice Harvest) Festival

Its been years since I checked out the Kaamatan celebrations. The daunting thing here is the heat. If you want to participate in any outdoor activities, be ready to melt.

Well, we passed by the celebration venue yesterday and it was cloudy so I asked Hubby to drop me there. There was no chance he could get to park; the place was very packed. I only had the little cam with me, and just when the I saw the ultimate photo opportunity, a group of boys playing contemporary songs on the gongs, it ran out of battery. But anyway, here's some pics:


New Imagekaamatan girls 2

kadazan/Dusun/Rungus Girls

I'm not sure which tribe they are from, but the Kadazan/Dusun girls are known for their fair skin and beauty. The highlight of the festival is the crowning of the Unduk Ngadau or the harvest queen. Unfortunately that was done the day before.

One of the tribal huts.

Each hut is manned by a different tribe, exhibiting their own crafts or customs.

Gong Players

Tapai drinking

After an hour, I concluded that the Kaamatan Festival centers on tapai! As I went from house to house, almost all the males are half-stoned, including the teens.

Tapai is a home-made brew made from rice. It is stored in jars. In this hut, the guys were lining up to sip tapai from the communal jar (using same bamboo straw...) for RM2.00 per sip. Each sip is what you can take in one breath. I saw a guy who could reduce the tapai level in the jar by about 3 cm in one breath! Everybody was telling him to stop. I think he cheated.

Bamboo trampoline

I went under the house to shoot pics of these people as they jumped on the bamboo trampoline. I guess the reason why everybody at the celebration was grinning was they couldn't help it, after some tapai and brain-shaking jumps.

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