Gawai 2007 Final

Gawai 2007 Comes to a Close

Work has really kept me from finalising my Gawai Closing post but here it is anyway. Now I am preparaing for the Merdeka Celebrations but it does seems that Gawai is not over....yet. Ngiling Bidai or Ngiling Tikai basically means the final stage of Gawai Dayak whereby 'Ngiling' means to 'roll' and 'Tikai' is the rattan mat in Iban. Usually the opening of Gawai, the symbolic open houses when the Ibans welcome their guests, they will roll out the welcome mat (Nganchau Tikai). The Ngiling Bidai was marked with the National Level Gawai Dayak 2007 celebrations. Over the past few years this official event was always held on 31st May which means. The decision to change this date was rightly made so as it will enable those celebrating Gawai to be able to go back and be with their families on the eve of Gawai rather than be stuck in an official function somewhere far away from their respective longhouses. Thank you Yang Berhormat Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu!

Upon arriving at the Stadium Tertutup (where the Gawai is held) I caught a glimpse of the yesteryear warriors in full dress. They posed for me in their battle gear.

The Iban warriors - young and elderly poses for the camera

The best pose I got - but do take note the Iban warriors of the early years do not wear spectacles and sneakers

The National Gawai Dayak Celebration 2007 was graced by the Sarawak Governor. Though the newly installed King of Malaysia and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, together with the other VIPs and dignitaries were supposed to be here but they decided to give this a skip. Its quite a relief the protocol requirements of the organisation...phew.

Amongs the Honourable Guest were our Right Honourable Chief Minister

The launch was officiated by the Sarawak Governor

Colourful People of Sarawak

The various ethnic groups came to give their best presentations. Indeed this Gawai 2007 Celebrations saw everyone in full traditional colours. The ambience was grand and the various dance performance were throughly fantastic.

The ladies were all wearing their traditional costumes

The Bidayuh ladies in their traditional costume

Even the kids looked their best - of course their teacher tagged along but I made her promise that she would wear the costume the next time I meet her for another photo session :)

And the guys were also in their colourful warriors' costume.

During the dinner I was busy....truly busy being stuck in the middle of this year's Gawai beauty contest winners. My friends in the Protocol Office has allocated to me the best seat for the dinner but I think I have allocated myself the best seat of the evening.

On my left:

Kumang Gawais (Iban Maidens) of Sarawak

The Bidayuh Beauty Queens on my right

I guess any guys would forgive me for skipping my dinner. But I did enjoy all those music and traditional tunes renderd by the experienced musicians. If someone mentions the ever famous Jerry Kamit, the young Sape (traditional Wooden guitar) player, one should not forget that the veteran players are also as good.

Traditional music performers

There was also a theme performance by the Orang Ulu Community about the triumph of Good versus Evil (as in many traditional storylines). The storyline centred on our Hero being tricked by an Evil villian who used black magic to trick our hero, who himself is also capable in good magic spells. I was thinking to myslef this could make a good Supernatural movie!

The story was told in a traditional dance sequence

Firstly there was harmony until the evil warrior crept in

The fight of Good vs Evil

And finally as in any good movie script evil goes down - I discovered that hair was not a wig. He grew it so that the character fits him. An exemplary show of dedication. I hear Hollywood knocking already :)

And finally the evil warrior was laid to rest

But wait - the story was not over. Our hero suddenly had a change of heart and brought the dead evil man to life again with the help of magic powers. With that evil became good (I am cutting the long story short here). I see some scripts from Supernatural taking shape here! As long as they do not take scripts from the television series LOST. But I get the meaning that its all about reconciliation and forgiveness. So do note that this is just a story and not about politics.

Finally the night ended with a few songs rendered by the famous local artises from the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu Community.

The grand finale was of course a dance presentation by all the communities in Sarawak depicting unity

Finally there was a final photo session with the beauty contestants.

Orang Ulu


Kumang Gawai. They are getting taller nowadays. I have got to get myself those high heels boots.

So I will probably see you around again for next year's Gawai. I don't know why but I am still stuck at my seat even after the performance had ended.


Anonymous said…
yes Kumang Gawai Iban contestor quiet pretty this year. when i walk in Sibu town that very easy to meet with pretty young Iban. Some maybe career women, teenage student or even mum. I hope shy, low profile Iban women outsite there will involve very much in social activities like join the Serakup Indu Dayak Union, organise the charity and also join the Kumang Gawai competition in the coming year.
cyrildason said…
Heheh.. have to agree wit cuthess.. The Kumang Gawai this year are prettiers..
Anonymous said…
Wooo pretty ladies...;)
mr daddi said…
gawai ada berapa kali 1 tahun?
Uchu Keling said…
Nice batik u have there!
Titi Rawan said…
Wah... Nice pic you have there apai serani! I cant help but to grab a photo of the Kumang Gawai. Bajik wai indu Iban! Ekekekeke (I've posted it in

Sorry for not being able to meet you in Labuan, wai! Suntuk ari!