30 March 2010

Harvest Season

At my area in Ranau, the Dusuns are now busy harvesting their crops. The season started some time at the end of February and will come to its end by May. Among the various Dusun localities in Sabah, there are various harvesting times. My area is one of those that ends the harvest time just in time to celebrate the kaamatan, the celebration of harvest; the thanksgiving to the rice spirit, Bambarayon.

My parents still observe the harvest ritual, sumalud, albeit a modern version of it. In the olden days the crop owner(s) would have brought a chicken to the rice-field, chanted some thanksgiving and asking for a bounty harvest words, then took the chicken home, slaughtered it and feasted on it. Nowadays, they simply go to the rice-field, pray that the harvest season will be smooth and the crops bountiful, and have some kind of special dinner with family members at home.

At times I long to go to the rice-field, wearing a wide-brim hat (used to be the traditional sirung "cone-shape big hat"), long-sleeve shirt and boots for protection, and using langgaman "a special hand knife to harvest the rice stalk", cutting the rice stalks to fill my wakid "large basket". Maybe it's time that I go back and do that.


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Verone, when is the harvest dance? Ha ha. I have learned not to fool around with their Tuak drinks....kicks like a sex cow too!
I am always fascinated with the various cultures of Sarawak.
Very interesting posting, I learned something today.
Have a nice day and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

Verone said...

Uncle Lee, you got it mixed up actually :-) Mine is in Sabah, but yes, we do have a harvest dance. Come join us at the end of May...and try our lihing (equal to tuak) hehe