“Kaamatan” Harvest festival
of Sabah, Borneo
“Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan” (Harvest Festival) is the biggest celebration in Sabah (Borneo), “Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan” simply means “Big Day Of Harvest” it is celebrated on the month of May. Kaamatan is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the “Hominodun” (sacrificial) of “Ponompuan” the only daughter of the creator couple “Kinoingan” (God) and his wife “Sumundu” in order to save the “Kadayans” (Human) from annihilation due to severe drought and famine.
During the Kaamatan month every village in Sabah will celebrate the kaamatan. The villagers will gather around, bringing along their foods such as “nonsom bambangan” (preserved bambangan fruit), “nonsom tuhau” (pickled ginger like plant), “hinava” (raw fish mixed with lime), “soko vugok” (bamboo shoot with pork) and also beverages such as “lihing” (rice wine), “talak” (distilled rice wine) and “tapai” (rice wine mixed with water). It is the time mingle around with friends, “magagung” (hitting the gong), “sazau” (dance), “humozou” (singing) and “moginum” (drinking). Sports event are also held during Kaamatan such as “Mipulos” (arms wrestling), “tampanau” (walking stilts) race, “mamalastik” (shooting slingshot) competition and the main events is the “unduk ngadau” (beauty contest) and “sugandoi” (songs of praise and thanksgiving) competition.
Each and every village in Sabah will held the unduk ngadau and sugandoi competition. After they have their winner, they will send them to compete in the district level then every district will send their representative to the State level competition. The State level competition are the highlights and normally held in Penampang district on the 30th and 31st of May every year.
There are a total of 23 districts in Sabah. In the interior division are Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Tenom, Nabawan, Keningau, and Tambunan. The northern division are Kudat, Kota Marudu And Pitas. On the east coast division are Sandakan, Kinabatangan and Beluran. In the southeast of Sabah are Tawau, Lahad Datu, kunak and Semporna. While at the west coast division are Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Papar, Tuaran, Kota Belud and Ranau.