KUCHING, May 2: A delegation of indigenous people from Sarawak wearing the Iban traditional ‘sirat’ clothing was presented with a ceremony by the Tambunan Bobolian group in honour of Tambunan’s warrior ancestor, known locally as Gombunan and Tamadon, during their visit to Tambunan today.
According to Sarawak indigenous people rights activist Peter John Jaban, who leads the Sarawak delegation, there is footage of their visit to Tambunan District, where they visited Tugu Pahlawan Gombunan at Pisompuruan Square.
He stated that they arrived at 1:30pm and paraded from the Tambunan roundabout, which was a three-minute walk, and were received by the Tambunan Bobolian group headed by Panglima Surat, Atama Katama.
He said before entering the sacred ground, both delegations exchanged cordial greetings in the Dusun and Iban languages.
“The ceremony, which lasted for 20 minutes, was mystical in nature as our delegation felt a divine presence,” he added.
Peter John added that according to Atama, who is the permanent representative to United Nations for Dayak International Organisation, the rite was performed to ensure the Sarawak delegation a safe passage throughout the State.
“It was also a blessing to commemorate indigenous relationships and bonds of friendship.
“I was in tears as I received many surprises with big crowds at the venues we visited, especially here in Tambunan, as I didn’t expect to be honoured according to their local tradition,” he said.
Before heading to Tambunan, he mentioned that the Sarawak delegation visited the infamous Batu Sumpah Keningau, where community leaders welcomed them.
“I wish to acknowledge the Keningau chief of police DSP Nor Rafidah Kassim, for escorting us to the Batu Sumpah site.
“We also appreciate the special briefing by the Ketua Adat regarding the Batu Sumpah Keningau. This was very educational,” he added.
Peter John went on to say that in Tenom, they were received by the Murut communities, whom many claim Iban ancestry.
“We thank (Kemabong assemblyman and Sabah Murut Association president) Datuk Rubin Balang for generously supporting our visit to his district.
“We will now head to Penampang District and stay at Monurali Garden Resort for two days to perform Sarawak traditional dances and showcase Sarawak cuisines, tattoos, and arts and crafts.
“Yes, we made it! History was made in this cultural visit!” claimed Peter John.
He stated that they acknowledge the support from Sabahans who greeted them in such a vast number and local Sabah authorities who assisted them in this visit.
The ceremony ended at 3pm. — DayakDaily