Yesterday, I flew to Sandakan – the second largest and developed town in Sabah, after Kota Kinabalu. I was flown here with my two colleagues to cover a kidnapping incident, which occurred at Sandakan’s well-known seafood eatery, Ocean King Seafood Restaurant. While in Sandakan, we took the opportunity to revisit Puu Jih Shih Temple – one of the finer Chinese temples in Sabah, according to Lonely Planet. We went there so my colleague, who is a photographer, could take an overall view of the restaurant overlooking the sea. It was a beautiful view.
Away from urbanisation, the Rungus community in Kampung Bavanggazo, near Tinangol in the Kudat district, lead a simple lifestyle where the women rely on handicraft as a source of income. These women, mostly aged above 40, are known as the makers of inavol, which is a dying tradition. Monuraging Monzipal, 60, said inavol is a traditional woven sash with geometric motifs worn crosswise across the chest. It is also famous as a gift for tourists. She said it was normally worn by the Rungus men together with their traditional costume during rituals. “However, inavol-making is slowly dying out because the younger generation is not keen on learning the skill.
AS the clock strikes 8am, villagers of Kampung Sumangkap in Kudat district never fail to rise to the continuous sound of metal smacking. This noisy small village is about three hours drive from the State capital (Kota Kinabalu). For some, hearing the sound of metal smacking first thing in the morning can be unbearable and a nuisance, but for these “disturbers of peace”, who are gong makers from the Rungus community, they are eking out a living as well as keeping the tradition of gong making alive.