Cultural Heritage and Sustainability in Sabah – Screening and Panel

Venue: Lecture Theatre G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, United Kingdom

Date: 27 November 2015

Timte: 6.00pm to 8.30pm

Followed by wine reception at Levantis Gallery, UCL Institute of Archaeology.

We bring Sabah’s mystical and iconic landmark, Mount Kinabalu, to you through the film screening of Sabah Festival 2014 musical production, Aki Nabalu, which showcases six ethnic groups in Sabah Malaysian Borneo that rely on Mount Kinabalu as a central feature for their cultural, social and religious practices. Mount Kinabalu is Southeast Asia’s highest peak and a UNESCO heritage site that is revered by the indigenous communities that live on Kinabalu and its foothills as well as those living within the sight of the mountain.

The hour-long musical opens with Pampang, which tells of the creation story of the Kadazandusun people. It will then showcase the Monolob, the Dusun Ranau ritual for appeasing the spirits of Mount Kinabalu, followed by a rice-honouring ritual Humabot performed by the Kadazan communities for summoning the spirits of the rice, known as Bambaazon. The different communities of Sabah will then congregate at the Kota Belud weekend market, or badi in local term, an important event in the social and economic life of the communities who live in the vicinity of Mount Kinabalu. The musical will also showcase the Mogkodim do hatod ritual performed by the Rungus communities to call upon the spirit of a sick person, and the Mohlukas, a housewarming ceremony of the Lotud Dusun communities, before concluding with a healing ritual of the Murut Nabai communities known as the Mansilad.

A panel discussion focusing on heritage and sustainability in Asia, moderated by Dr. Barbara Knorpp will follow the film screening. The speakers are Yunci Cai, PhD candiate at UCL, Institute of Archaeology, Dr Shzr Ee Tan, Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Dr Fiona Kerlogue, Deputy Keeper of Anthropology at Horniman Museum.

With support from Sabah Tourism Board and the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, University of London.