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, 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.
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.