Listen to a rare Kelabit performance at the Sarawak Museum

Friends of Sarawak Museum will be presenting ‘A Woman’s Voice: a song about lavish entertainment and a payment in turquoise beads’ this October 25.

This presentation by Sinah Radu Ulun will be a unique opportunity to experience a performance of a ‘lakuh’, a Kelabit song that provides a rare view on events from a woman’s perspective.

The presentation that will be held at Niah Room, Dewan Tun Razak building, Sarawak Museum from 10.30am to 12pm will include a lecture by Datin Valerie Mashman and Sinah.

Mashman is currently conducting research in oral history of the Kelabit Highlanders for a PhD thesis.

Meanwhile, Sinah was born in Long Lellang and now lives in Padang Pasir Bario. She has lived her life in different villages in the highlands accompanying her late husband, Kebing Balan on his postings as a village paramedical officer.

Sinah is one of the last singers of her generation and has a versatile repertoire of songs from the Kelabit oral traditions.

The song of Dayang provides an insight into the pre- Christian world of the Kelabit as she remembers the death feast of her late mother. In order for such a feast to be possible, large amounts of borak, rice wine, had to be brewed in precious Chinese jars. The lavish hospitality of the host was a measure of the success of the feast . However, Dayang’s husband over-extended his hospitality and Dayang was forced to give up her turquoise glass beads to obtain more rice… but by the end of the song Dayang emerges triumphant.

No registration is required for the presentation and it is free to members of the public.

For information, contact Louise at 0128550588 or [email protected]

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