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Promoting Rungus attire and musical instruments
Published on: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Rungus Momogun Association (Samora) ambassadress, Claryssa Henry Ogodong, 23, has pledged to focus on promoting the traditional attire and musical instruments of the Rungus as part of highlighting the main identity of the ethnic group to the people in Sabah and overseas.

The first runner-up of this year's Unduk Ngadau said she will highlight two Rungus women's traditional attire known as 'Tapi' and 'Sukolop' that are not quite known to people outside the community.

"I have decided to promote these two Rungus traditional attire for women as these are the most common hand woven attire of our ethnic community.

"In fact, I received many enquiries on the 'Sukolop' compared to the 'Tapi'. Hence this shows that many people in Sabah are unaware and have never seen the 'Sukolop' before.

"The 'Tapi' is a fully hand-woven sarong and quite a number of people acknowledge this as a traditional attire of Rungus, while the 'Sukolop' is also a one-piece garment but only the motifs are hand woven on the material," said Claryssa who comes from Kg.Lokoton, Kudat.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Clayrssa who was re-appointed as Samora's ambassador for the second year said she plans to wear the contemporary 'Tapi' in formal events including wedding receptions and official functions as part of her role to promote the Rungus culture.

She said she will also make efforts to introduce the Rungus traditional attire at the international level.


"In March this year together with 16 Samora members, we were selected to represent Malaysia at an international tourism exhibition in Berlin, Germany called Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin (ITB Berlin) and we won two medals in two categories.

"While wearing the traditional attire of the Rungus, we also performed our traditional dance called 'Monigol Sumundai' (men and women dance) as well as brought our own musicians and dancers," she said.

Claryssa said her next focus would be on introducing the traditional musical instrument of the Rungus particularly a two-string musical instrument called 'Sundatang' that resembles Sarawak's 'Sape'.

She said she was drawn to learn more about the 'Sundatang' due to its uniqueness.

"I plan to do my own research about the 'Sundatang' so that I would know the history and share it with others apart from uplifting the cultural art and traditional music of the Rungus in the State.

"At the same time, I believe it is imperative for the young generation to be proud not only of their traditional attires but also their own traditional musical instruments such as the 'Tontog' which looks like a drum or 'beduk' that is the traditional musical instrument of the Malays," she said.


Claryssa who graduated from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) last year with a degree in Marketing said she will also promote the Rungus' traditional accessories by wearing them in any programme or event that she attends.

By doing so, she said people will eventually see and get to know the uniqueness and distinctive accessories of Rungus.

"Actually I wore the Rungus accessories when I was in Unimas after I saw other students of Sarawak proudly wearing their respective ethnic accessories.

"It is also an effort to introduce and promote one's culture to the people. Until now, I am still doing it as I wear them when I go to church and for outings with my friends.

"I hope that other youths would do the same and be proud of their own heritage and culture," Claryssa said.


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