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View the first dance of newly-weds
Published on: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: Most Sabahans may think they have seen it all - the Kadazan Sumazau dance. But what about a specific dance called Sumazau mingkung - the first dance together for newly weds?

That could be new for many attending the Sabah Fest 2011 cultural extravaganza on April 30 and 1 May, at the Sutera Harbour Magellan Grand Ballroom.

For Kadazans of Penampang, the Sumazau Mingkung is a specific dance performed especially as a tribute to a newly-married couple.

On wedding day, the groom heads for the bride's house in a procession with the bridewealth (nopung) on hand.

On arrival, gongs beat and the nopung is taken from him, the bride appears at the entrance and the bobohizan (ritual specialist) uses a popodu - a bunch of five types of leaves to sprinkle water to perform a ritual called vokis, to bless the newly weds.

After the blessing, the couple place a foot each on a round stone called pampang at the bottom of the stairs while the bobohizan symbolically holds the conical hats called seraung, over their heads.

The stone and the hats symbolize strong and lasting marriage while the hats represent shields to protect them from evil on wedding day and thereafter.

After a few short mantras, the bobohizan would then enter the house.

In the house, the couple performs their first Sumazau dance together as a married couple with the bobohizan and other elders surrounding them, performing that specific dance called Sumazau mingkung.

After that first dance, relatives and guests are invited to join in.

This is the unique dance and ceremony the Sabah Fest audience will see on 30 April and 1 May.

Tickets are priced M30 and RM50.

Call Sabah Tourism , Gaya Street 6088-212121 or Sri Pelancongan Sabah , Sinsuran, 6088-232121.

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