PERFORMING RICE FARMING RITUALS BY PENAMPANG KADAZAN OF EAST MALAYSIA: BETWEEN SACRED RITUAL AND SECULAR PERFORMANCE

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Hanafi Hussin

Abstract

The rituals of rice farming amongst the Penampang Kadazan essentially affirm the
continuance of abundant harvest, family and household security over evil vibes
and evil wind, and the permanency of residential guardian spirit, miontong. For a
protracted balance of all the forces within the miontong spatial domain, spiritual
abodes contracted to the performance space are supplicated through the ritual
cleansing and appeasement of musical instruments (drums and gongs) and
performative aspect of female shamans, bobohizan, and her entourage. These are the
sacred rituals of monogit or cooling down of the heightened temperament, the
emblem of Kadazan people’s sacred and cultural identities. It has survived through
extant practices by the Penampang Kadazan on the grounds of sacredness and
inviolability. However, performing sacredness becomes less efficacious when
emblems of this rice farming rituals become the signifiers of cultural performativity
in secular events, namely, Kaamatan or Harvest Festival. This paper looks into
performative dichotomies and contestations of Penampang Kadazan’s perceptions
of performing the sacred in secular spaces through the discourses of cultural
anthropology, theatre, and ethnography.
Keywords: Sacred ritual, identity, harvest festival, ethnography, and Penampang Kadazan

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How to Cite
HUSSIN, Hanafi. PERFORMING RICE FARMING RITUALS BY PENAMPANG KADAZAN OF EAST MALAYSIA: BETWEEN SACRED RITUAL AND SECULAR PERFORMANCE. JATI - JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES, [S.l.], v. 13, p. 173-190, dec. 2008. ISSN 2600-8653. Available at: <https://jati.um.edu.my/article/view/6208>. Date accessed: 22 may 2019.
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