October 5, 2012

The Wooden Tubong of Sarawak

Many people in the world and even most people of Sarawak have not seen this "wooden instrument".

Image may contain: 1 person, standing
My friend Wilfred Mulling and the Tubung of Bario.
This is the "gong" or "bell" or "instrument" of the highland indigenous peoples (Penans, Kelabits, Kayans and Kenyahs".

A hollow tree is scouted for when a headman wishes to have one installed for a new village..some tubong in Sarawak are as old as 200 years old!! Tubung  is a multi-tasking instrument -  to call for meetings, to rise the people up to gather for emergencies or for defence (in the olden days), to gather for Church service...to wake up for morning prayers..(This one gives the wake up call at 5.30 and the pastor is the one who will beat the tubong for the village. This house belongs to the SIB church)



The elders would take time to look for the perfect hollowed tree to make a grand tubong (although some spell it tubung)....

Recently a new one was found for a special occasion.

This new tubong is now hanging in a new "astaka" in Bario for the Bario Food Festival 2011....

Datuk Seri Idris Jala beating a tubung to announce the beginning of the Bario Food Festival.  in the background is the Chairman of SEDC Datuk Talib  Zulkilip. A Kelabit man wears a cultural bead necklace which is passed from generation to generation. Photo courtesy of Borneo Post
http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/07/25/bario-ba%E2%80%99-kelalan-road-project-to-complete-by-next-year/

5 comments:

Ann said...

seems like Kelabits are always looking at trees and growing them

Sarawakiana@2 said...

No lah...they also do other things...like digging fish ponds aND going hunting besides others.

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