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The late Tina Rimmer named Sabah’s first cultural icon

KOTA KINABALU: The late artist Tina Rimmer is the first person to be named as Sabah’s cultural icon.

State Tourism, Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun handed over the Sabah Cultural Heritage Council certificate to Tina’s grandniece Shona Lewin at her funeral here on Saturday.

Rimmer died on May 5, just two months short of her 100th birthday.

Masidi said the ministry would be holding a tribute for Rimmer on Aug 1, adding that the tribute would feature her paintings of life in Sabah.

Sabah Art Gallery curator Jennifer Linggi said the three-month exhibition of Rimmer’s works would be one of the events in her tribute.

Rimmer was originally from Devon, England. She came to North Borneo in 1949 as an Education Officer.

She was one of the original lecturers at Kent Teacher’s Training College in Tuaran in 1951 and later taught at Siew Ching Chinese School and Saint Dominic’s secondary school, both in Lahad Datu.

She married Lahad Datu-based planter Bert Rimmer in 1959 and they settled in a farm where she learned to rear cattle and plant fruits.

Rimmer became a Malaysian in the 1970s and moved to Tamparuli in 1974 before moving to a house in Likas in 1990 after her husband’s death and then to a home in Papar.

Source: The Star Online

Dusun ‘bobolian’ leaves participants enthralled at KK int’l spiritual & tourism conference

KOTA KINABALU: All eyes were on Amit Guntawoi, 80, as she performed the ‘momulangga’ ritual to bless the opening of the International Conference on Spirituality, Culture and Sustainable Tourism, here today.

The Dusun ‘bobolian’ (high priestess) from Kimanis spent almost an hour, where she connected with the spirit world and recited chants in a conference room with about 100 participants at the Le Meridien Hotel.

Present were Deputy Chief Minister and Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) president, and KDCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

At one point during the ritual, Guntawoi’s assistant quietly tried to ask the bobolian to cut short her ritual as it was taking too long but she asked not to be disturbed.

Guntawoi is among few remaining Dusun bobolian who still performs rituals. She takes the momulangga ritual seriously to ward off unwanted and negative spirits to ensure today’s conference is carried out smoothly.

The event is KDCA’s first international conference in collaboration with Universiti Teknologi MARA and Universiti Sains Malaysia to provide a platform for various key players to present and discuss cultural knowledge and research findings.

In his opening speech, Pairin said the momulangga ritual demonstrates what spirituality all about.

“I’m happy at being able to witness a bobolian from Kimanis. The ritual she performed for us is something she believes in.

“On May 30, I saw performances where the personality of a group of performers changed after performing chants and it took them awhile to exit from the spiritual environment into the real world,” he said.

Pairin noted that the the conference aims to seek a marriage between spirituality and sustainable tourism, and that a package would be developed as they understand the subject matter.

Pairin said the conference was timely with the finale of the Kaamatan festival and urged participants to take the opportunity to further enhance their understanding of the local spirituality, culture and sustainable tourism.

Source: New Straits Times

Kota Kinabalu lass the top choice

Penampang: Kota Kinabalu representative Kerinah Mah, 22, was crowned Unduk Ngadau 2017 at the Hongkod Koisaan, Wednesday night.

She beat 43 other beauties, taking home prizes worth more than RM73,000. This included an RM6,000 cash prize, an ATI scholarship worth RM25,000, an Almacrest scholarship worth RM20,000, a return air ticket to Bangkok among others.

Shareene Francis Loudin of Penampang and Arveyna Pamella Januin @ Abdon from Papar were named first and second runners-up.

Shareene received prizes worth RM11,480 which included RM4,000 cash, while Arveyna received prizes worth RM9,660, of which RM3,000 was in cash.

Angel Sungkadhamai Marshal @ Linus (Likas), Bibiana Artecca James (Tambunan), Sharlina Gilbert Mojinun (Klang Valley) and Vanessa Claria (Tuaran) respectively took fourth, fifth, sixth and seven places.

The month-long Kaamatan festival came to an end Wednesday on a moderate yet cheerful note with a RM1 million allocation to the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) and yet another powerful display of multiracial and religious harmony that is uniquely Sabah’s.

The spell of heavy rains and terrible traffic jam did not deter thousands of local and foreign visitors from flocking to the Hongkod Koisaan grounds to experience the carnival-like atmosphere.

Launched in Tambunan this year on May 1, the Kaamatan, which is traditionally the Kadazandusun thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful rice harvest, was celebrated at all levels from the districts down to villages and families throughout the month.

There had also been celebrations in the peninsula States of Johor, Perak, Penang as well as the Federal Territory of Labuan and Klang Valley.

For many years now, the spirit of the festival has been embraced by all races and faiths, each wanting to celebrate their own meaning of a harvest.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman acknowledged this when speaking at the closing ceremony, saying racial and religious harmony has been the way of life in Sabah.

“We have no problem for we can always sit and have meals together,” he said to thunderous applause from the audience.

He added that while the festival has always showcased racial and religious harmony in the State, it must also be celebrated beyond the limits of political boundaries.

“This festival teaches us how important it is to strengthen unity and peace in our State which has so many ethnics and cultures,” he stressed.

He said effective efforts by all quarters are needed to promote Sabah’s unique cultural heritage including its traditional games and instruments.

Such efforts should indeed be stepped up, whether at the domestic or international level.

“In this context, the involvement of all parties mean not just the government departments and agencies but also the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

“The Government, meanwhile, will remain committed and double its efforts to promote Sabah’s rich and unique culture with the support of all concerned,” Musa said in his speech read by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who represented him at the event.

Musa also called on the people, especially those in Sabah, to give continuous support to the Government’s efforts in sustaining the State’s cultural heritage to prevent it from becoming extinct.

He also hoped the people would involve themselves in various cultural programmes towards fostering peace and unity in the State.Also present were Deputy CM Datuk Seri Yahya Hussein and Sabah Tourism, Culture, Environment Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

Musa later announced a RM1 million allocation from the State Government for the KDCA building’s repairs.

Pairin said according to Kadazandusun custom, the harvest festival is a time to seek forgiveness from one another so that mutual respect and unity can continue among people from all races and faiths.

“The Kaamatan festival has brought about a sense of renewal that transcends differences we have in politics, race and beliefs,” he said.

Although the finale this year coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, many who were observing the fast also came to experience the festival. – Ricardo Unto and Leonard Alaza

Source: Daily Express

Cherie wins Sabah Design Competition

Kota Kinabalu: For her design “Rewoven”, designer Cherie Gregory, who is currently working in London, bagged the first prize of RM2,000, Life Membership to the KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA) and a hand-beaded memento in the lst Sabah Design Competition with the theme “Portraying Kadazandusun Culture from Traditional to Contemporary Design”.

Her aunty Mary Goretti collected the prize on her behalf from the Chairperson of KDCA Women’s Council, Joanna Datuk Kitingan at the prize-giving ceremony held at the Sabah Art Gallery, Monday.

Cherie said of her winning creation: “Traditional Sabahan handicrafts’ vibrant colours and woven patterns inspired me to create a modern homewares range. The Traditional Kain Dastar patterns have been reimagined as a modern, bold tile style fabric, digitally printed and brought up to date.

“I also found inspiration in the tungkup baskets, with my patterns echoing the vibrantly dyed bamboo weaving.

I find a connection to my heritage by interlinking my family’s historical handicraft technique with modern design.”

Kitingan said the Women’s Council will be taking Cherie’s designs and working with traditional weavers and basket makers to produce a series of craft objects. “In this way, a connection will be made with traditional weavers to help provide them with a sustainable income as well as provide the designer with a percentage of the profit.”

Three highly commended winners, who received a cash prize of RM200 each, were designer Alesia Adrian Goinipison (Rekaan Baju Tradisis Dusun Tambunan), designers Nursiah and Nursineh Tamsir (Wakid Lamp), and designer Mary Joan B. Puvok (Tomboboizungon Do Bambarayon).

The KDCA Women’s Council in partnership with Sabah Art Gallery and Sabah Cultural Board launched the Design Competition a year ago. “We are devoted to the task of preserving, developing and promoting Kadazandusun culture. Through the 1st Sabah Design Competition, we are celebrating contemporary Kadazandusun design.

It’s amazing what Sabah’s young designers can create,” Kitingan said, adding that 65 entries were received since the launch.

The competition was championed by Minister of Culture, Environment and Tourism, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun who encouraged the Council to find Sabah’s design talent and support Kadazandusun Culture.

Sabahan YouTube icon Adam Shamil and KDCA Women’s Council member Shelley Jolison promoted the competition through a video produced by Vinoun Films (owned by KDCA Women’s Council member Rachel Ongkili).

Design Competition Organising Chairpersons, Jo Luping and Shelley Jolison, said the competition was created to find and license Sabah designers’ work and then produce ranges of handicraft products that would be made by our local Kadazandusun artisans. “In this way, the KDCA Women’s Council hopes to work towards achieving its goals, which are to preserve and promote Kadazandusun culture and to provide sustainable income for Kadazandusun women,” they said.

The judges were three of Sabah’s most renowned individuals from the creative sector – Jennifer Linggi (Director and Manager of Sabah Art Gallery), I-Lann Yee (internationally renowned artist whose work has been exhibited widely in museums and biennials around the world) and Teo Zye Keun (Brand designer and Illustrator, former President of Visual Communication Association (2014-2015), Co-Founder & Director at Generator Creative Studio and Asgardian School of Art).

Entries were judged on Technical Skill/Craftsmanship (20pc), Originality/Creativity/Innovation (40pc), Portrayal of KDM Culture (30pc) and Presentation (10pc).

According to the judges, the concepts and research that the participants presented were by and large well thought through and with some additional work on them they could be considered by the Women’s Council to also be licensed and turned into products.

“In design, a major part of the process is going back and refining and then refining again,” they commented.

Source: Daily Express

KK set to hold inaugural tourism conference during peak of Kaamatan

KOTA KINABALU: The inaugural International Conference on Spirituality, Culture and Sustainable Tourism, to be held here this year, will coincide with the culmination of the Kaamatan or ‘Harvest Festival’ – making for a busy tourism-themed week for the city.

The conference, which will run from May 29 to June 2, will see the assembly of local and foreign delegates on one platform to discuss and promote spiritual and sustainable tourism.

Organized by the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) and its university partners Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the conference will afford delegates the opportunity to experience Kaamatan – the Kadazandusun’s month-long harvest celebration which will reach its apex at the Hongkod Koisaan KDCA building in Penampang on May 30 and 31.

During a press conference on the festival, Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that there are still many undiscovered attractions in remote locations of Sabah.

“We have been blessed that tourist (arrivals), like those from China, are on the rise despite untoward incidents in the past, as they know that Sabah has many interesting elements.

“Now, we need to engage our youth to appreciate our natural beauty so that they can help with tourism initiatives,” said the Deputy Chief Minister.

He said that youngsters could play their part in adding value to tourism packages, whether they include cultural, arts or nature-based attractions.

Source: New Straits Times