Location : Kampung Kiding, Padawan, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
The last ‘official’ Gawai was done a decade ago which was why Mr Bakas the headman insisted we visit the village to witness this year’s celebration, complete with a colourful presentation of their ladies in their own unique attire and most important of all the offerings to the kamangs or devas that reside in the nearby Mount Menuang.
Sad to note that the one and only person qualified to perform this ritual is ‘Ketua Adat’ Sep ak Taot and he probably will be the last as more and more villagers convert to Christianity. Surprisingly, although Kiding has a baruk this ceremony was not performed there but at Bakas’ house instead. Maybe I will find out why later.
I noticed that the dance ritual performed by the ladies were very similar to that of Sungkung Senebeh when they were visiting Gumbang last year. It wasn’t exactly a dance but a slow graceful small movements of the feet, body slowly bouncing from the knees upwards with open palms and extended arms slightly bent at the elbows, receiving grace from the devas as explained by Agnes a lady we met there.
Agnes like many other villagers we met at Kiding that day claimed they have not been back to the village for ages. I wonder if the new road under construction has been a factor in drawing them back to their roots. As we were trekking up motorcycles zoomed up and and down ferrying people. Life will never be the same again…..thanks to DAP who came up with the money for its construction. The road is expected to be completed well before Christmas. Visiting Gareg & Tanju Waterfalls will be made so much easier. (For more info on Kiding village, please click here)
Road after clearing
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