Revealing Malaysia's Indigenous Culture You Might Not Know ~ SIIAF 2019


The Selangor State Government through Tourism Selangor, with the support from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture held the fifth Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) on the 3rd and 4th of August 2019 in National Botanic Park, Shah Alam. 

SIIAF is one of the initiatives to elevate and preserve pure gems of the Selangor State, the Orang Asal tribes, who are still practising their unique traditional cultures and customs, despite the fact that modern technology has taken its toll on the society. 

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

SIIAF 2019 is right-up-the-alley in establishing the State of Selangor as a preferred tourist destination with one of its core strengths in cultural tourism, focusing on the diverse cultures and the arts. The glorious event is no stranger to foreign media, as its uniqueness in cultural focus entices global attention, which provides exposure to Selangor’s hidden gems in particular.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Selangor Indigenous Arts Festival 2019 showcased the rich and diverse cultures of Malaysia’s indigenous tribes through cultural dance performances performed by the Mah Meri and Temuan tribes from Selangor, Semai tribe from Perak, Seletar tribe from Johor, and the Borneo Sabah and Sarawak tribe. 

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

As shown above, the Mah Meri tribe rendered an amazing performance on their famed Masked Dance. The 2 masked men are known as Tok Pongkola and Tok Nania.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

I don't really remember what's the emcee told but he said one of the characters were supposed to be handsome and loved by the village girls. I think this is the one. (the definition of handsome is very different nowadays)

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019


Art lovers and collectors can also take a stroll down the Borneo Street Market by Sabah Sarawak KL Heritage Association for hand-made indigenous crafts such as beautiful paintings, women’s accessories, and clothing.   

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Borneo style earrings made with beads

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Fish traps, weaving mats and walking sticks are all handcrafted by the indigenous tribe from natural sources.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Lady traditional wear 

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Woven bags

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Local produce such as dabai and rice wine are seen selling at the booth by the Iban. Dabai is selling at RM40/kg at the local market. I bought a bottle of rice wine RM25 from the Iban man which I pretty like the taste. There are a few varieties of taste from light to strong. He said we can keep it as long as we want and the taste will become stronger when keeping longer.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

The talented indigenous people also produced wood statue which I think for home decoration possibly. I saw a lot the similar one when visiting Kuching last time.

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What’s more compelling, international indigenous tribes from  Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Africa and South Korea graced the event with their presence, enabling city-dwellers to learn and have a closer look on their customs, cultures, traditional attires, artwork pieces, crafts and languages, and watch them perform live! 

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

South Korea booth was displaying the paper toys showcasing their traditional wear.


Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Here the most interesting corner of all~~ LIVE SAGO WORMS in the exhibition and free to try. A lady ate 3 live sago worms in front of us at the same time sharing on her Instagram live.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Sago worm is a delicacy in Borneo. But it could be disgusting food to many. Goes by the saying don't judge the book by its cover, this worm is selling at USD0.25 each or RM40-45 per kg in a local market (rate at 2016).

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

You could find this in Sago palm plantation as they feed on the decaying trees.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

This is the one of the most expensive fishes here RM1000/kg (USD 239/ kg) known as Ikan Semah Sarawak. 

This is not the 忘不了fish/ Ikan Empurau which also from Sarawak. The Ikan Empurau is previously mentioned in Chapman To's Runaway to Malaysia (杜汶泽 :走路去马来 ) show. Current market price according to the owner of the fish farm is RM1800-2200 /kg  Why so expensive? Both fishes only feed on plants along the river. (Ikan Empurau only eat Engkabang fruits which found exclusively at Sarawak give it the unique flavour and creamy fatty texture)

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Visitors of the event will get to enjoy walking through special set-ups of the Indigenous Handicraft and the Indigenous Traditional Villages, for an in-depth experience. 

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Semelai tribe traditional house

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Mah Meri tribe traditional house

Special indigenous traditional weaving and blowpipe demonstrations will also blow their minds, or they can experience participating in the amazing traditional Kercang Games Puzzle.


 Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

A group of women were learning on the weaving in a traditional house. To attain a first-hand lesson on using the blowpipes, weaving a shelter using bertam leaves, and solving several bamboo puzzles, visitors can sign up for the Jungle School Lesson conducted by Raman Bahtuin, a retired Semai gentleman

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Visitors also indulged in a vast selection of traditional cuisines of domestic and international indigenous tribes at the Traditional Indigenous Food Exhibition, brought to you exclusively by Malaysia Orang Asli Development Association (MOADA). 

Amazed at how they serve the food with bamboo and delicate cuttings made to place the food inside.

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

the rare fruits and vegetables


Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Dalek squirrel is one of Temuan tribe delicacy

Not common food we have at home......at least not for city dwellers

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

I have never heard of Lotung. Do you know what is this?

Selangor International Indigenous Arts Festival (SIIAF) 2019

Temuan tribe eat the python too! If they did not mention it, I would just think this dish is just a curry fish 


SIIAF 2019 in giving pride and global exposure to the Indigenous Arts; is perfect for the public who wish to explore the uniqueness of the Orang Asal cultures without having to trail down rural places.

The motley two-day event is carried out in conjunction with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People which falls in August each year. If you miss out the event this year, bookmark it for August next year! Above all, the entrance is free!

Comments

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  4. Such events allow to preserve cultural identity and are very important! I like them.

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