Indigenous group to create history wearing ‘sirat’ on Sabah trip

Peter John (fourth left) and the group adorned in 'sirat' during their visit to Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his deputy Datuk Snowdan Lawan at Baitulmakmur 2 building on April 19, 2022.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, April 19: A group of indigenous people from Sarawak will attempt to create history by boarding an aircraft barefooted and wearing the Iban traditional ‘sirat’ clothing to promote Sarawak’s culture throughout their trip to Sabah.

A ‘sirat’ is a type clothing usually worn wound around one’s waist and is adorned by patterns commonly see on Iban traditional costumes.


Sarawak indigenous peoples rights activist Peter John Jaban, who is leading the group, said the group consisting of about 72 people so far will depart from Miri to Kota Kinabalu on April 30 and the trip will commence until May 4.

“We aim to promote Sarawak’s culture and gastronomy and at the same time to promote the coming Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) event.

“During this trip, over 60 participants will create history by wearing the ‘sirat’ on a plane barefoot and have their upper body exposed to showcase their tattoos,” he told DayakDaily when contacted today.

Abdul Karim (sixth right) in a group photo with Peter (on his left) and the delegation during the visit.

Earlier today, a small delegation representing the group paid a visit to Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at his office at Baitulmakmur 2 building, Kuching.

Peter mentioned that the group had planned the trip since November last year and all the expenses for food, accommodation and airfares are paid for by themselves.

However, during the last-minute visit, Abdul Karim and Deputy Minister of Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan have agreed in principle to give some financial support from their own pockets to the group.

“On behalf of my entourage, I would like to thank the Minister and the Deputy Minister of Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan for their time despite their tight schedule and we also thank both of them for their quick response and support,” he said.

Snowdan (standing, fifth left) with Peter (on his right), the delegation’s general manager Dr Robert Lingga (on his left) and others pose for a group photo after the visit.

On the trip, Peter informed that the group will be welcomed by a delegation of Sabah indigenous people represented by Dayak International Organisation (DIO) and Dayak Ritual Awareness Fellowship (DRAF) upon arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport before heading to Sabah Waterfront to do a cultural flashmob.

The group will visit Kampung Murut in Tenom on May 1 before visiting the famous Batu Sumpah in Keningau and the Dusun or Kadazan community in Tambunan the following day.

The group will also hold a tattoo, handcraft and cooking demonstration showcase at Monaruli Garden Resort in Penampang on the same day and May 3.

Peter also said that the trip will serves as a trial project before aiming set a new Guinness World Record. — DayakDaily