PITAS: For the first time in the history of the Tombonuo people here, they made it to the national level in their cultural activity by getting the Sumanggak dance into the Malaysia Book of Records.
The president of the Sabah Pitas Tombonuo People Association (PBTPS), Akian Ahkiew, said that this is a significant achievement for the Tombonuos who have all this while been excluded in major cultural events.
“It was a proud moment last month when the association’s dance group made it into the Malaysia Book of Records,” he said.
“Now we can look forward to more cultural activities and get our cultural heritage become an important part of Sabah’s and Malaysia’s cultural mosaic.”
He regretted that even at the state level, the Tombonuo dance has not been fully recognised unlike the dance of other ethnic groups.
“This is not entirely the fault of cultural organisers,” Akian admitted.
“It is also due to insufficient initiatives of the Tombonuo people themselves. But now, under the association’s new leadership, we are more aggressive in promoting the Tombonuo identity at the state and national level.”
The sumanggak dance was part of the marathon dance performance organised by the Malaysia Book of Records in Kota Marudu on May 21, 2011.
It involved the continuous performance of 24 dances by six Sabah ethnic groups which included the Kimaragang, Lobukon, Bajau, Tobilung and Rungus peoples.
The deputy president of the PBTPS, Awong Ma Siu Lin, informed that the Lobukons are a Dusunic tribe in the Kota Marudu district.
The Tombonuo group was oganised by Awong as the organising chairman, assisted by other leaders of PBTPS, namely, Rahim Duyung, Mutting Duhilee, KK Serikau Kembura, Laiang Tingin, Eyang Singoron, Kuntingan Singoron, Dausieh bte Queek, Deus Amat and Tetmin Gawan.