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Publication: Yearbook for Traditional Music
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 78656
ISSN: 07401558
Journal code: YRTM


In discussing gong ensemble music through the gaze of movement, gaze can be conceptualized at two interrelated levels: firstly, at the general contextual level of the audience (who are the spectators?), and secondly, at the deeper semantic level of auditory-kinaesthetic relationships that manifest social meanings.

At the contextual level, traditional gong ensemble music and dance in Sabahan societies can be generally differentiated according to the audience. This audience may consist of human spectators of the particular society in question, who can also freely participate in playing their characteristic gong ensemble, joining the dance, and feasting. From this human perspective, gong ensemble music and dance in secular community celebrations expresses joy and social unity. In ritual contexts, however, the audience includes not only the human participants for whom the event may also be celebratory, but also spectators from the vast spiritual world of good spirits, such as celestial beings (and even the Creator), and malevolent spirits, such as demons and nature spirits. Engaging the spiritual world-the Other to the human world-requires the mediation of (usually) female ritual specialists or priestesses, who recite long sacred ritual poetry and perform appropriate ceremonies in various situations to maintain the required balance between physical and spiritual worlds in the universe. In some cases, the priestesses may also engage the spiritual world through dance, and the accompanying gong ensemble music may be the same as that played for purely social events or specific to the ritual context according to the society concerned. In these ritual contexts, the spirits are also believed to participate in dancing either through symbolic representation or possession of the ritual specialists.

In many cultures, gong ensemble music in ritual is seen as the actual medium through which the human and spiritual worlds merge (Pugh-Kitingan, and John Baptist 2009; Pugh-Kitingan, Hussin, and John Baptist 2009a, 2011). Dance in these contexts is built upon gong music and symbolically articulates actions and transactions taking place in the spirit world. Although it may be a kinaesthetically attractive element for the spectator, dance is wholly dependent on the gong music for its temporal existence (Pugh-Kitingan 2011a, 2011b; Pugh-Kitingan, Hussin, and John Baptist 2005, 2009b, 2009c). Only the best gong players may perform the ensemble music in purely ritual contexts, according to the prescriptions in the sacred poetry of the priestesses. Thus at the auditory and kinaesthetic level, gong ensemble music can be examined through the gaze of the musicians who beat the gongs, through the gaze of the dancers who move according to the composite sound of the gongs, and through the gaze of the audience (both human and spiritual) that understands the deeper social and ritual meanings expressed through the movements accompanied by the music.

Hence, in discussing Dusun Tinagas gong ensemble music through the gaze of movement, several questions arise. Firstly, what is the relationship between the musical sounds produced as a result of the movements of the gong players and the movements of the dancers? That is, how does the gong ensemble music inform and support the movements of the dancers? Secondly, if dance is a structured movement system of knowledge that visually manifests social relationships and meanings reflecting deeper structures in a society (including its relationship to the spiritual world), as Kaeppler (1998:311; 2005:295-96) has stated, what are the social relationships manifested in Dusun Tinagas dancing?

Feminist theorists have utilized the concept of the gaze to show that Western film and visual arts depict imbalanced power relations between men and women, and that this generally reflects gender relationships in Western societies (Heron 1970; Mulvey 1975; Copjec 1994:21-23; Sturken and Cartwright 2001:88; Krips 2010:95). Scholars in Borneo studies have noted that, unlike Western societies, Borneo societies have greater gender balance, sexual symmetry, or gender equality, and women's roles are highly respected (Sutlive and Appell 1991; Appell 1991; Appell and Appell 1993). Hence, through the gaze of movement, how does dance accompanied by gong music manifest gender relationships in Dusun Tinagas society?

The Dusun Tinagas

The Dusun Tinagas inhabit the remote upper reaches of the Sugut (Labuk) River system, a very hilly area that straddles the intersection of the administrative districts of Ranau, Kota Marudu, and Labuk-Sugut in northern Sabah, the east Malaysian state of northern Borneo. They speak the Central Dusun dialect of Kadazan Dusun (also referred to as Dusun), the largest language in Sabah and one of thirteen members of the indigenous Dusunic family of languages. This family also includes the Rungus, Kimaragang, Tobilung, Sonsogon, and Labuk Dusun of northern Sabah, as well as the Lotud, Kuijau, Tatana, Bisaya, and others of the west coast and interior (Banker and Banker 1984:311-24; Miller 1988).

Like other indigenous societies of Sabah, the Dusun Tinagas are an egalitarian or acephalous society with bilateral kinship and gender balance. Their settlement patterns consist of villages composed of dispersed single houses. Some of these houses, however, reflect older longhouse systems and contain two or three apartments, each occupied by a separate domestic family.

The traditional Dusun Tinagas socioeconomic system revolves around the cultivation of dry hill rice, with individual families preparing their swiddens away from the village. The people also grow various kinds of fruits and vegetables close to their houses, and rear domestic animals such as poultry and pigs. Men occasionally hunt wild game from the forests, and fish from the rivers.

Marriage in Dusun Tinagas society is exogamous as far as third cousins, and is legalized by the payment of bridewealth (nopung) from the parents of the bridegroom to those of the bride. Unlike most Kadazan Dusun who have virilocal residence (in the husband's village), the Dusun Tinagas traditionally practised uxorilocal postnuptial residence (in the wife's village), like other Dusunic peoples to the north, such as the Kimaragang, Tobilung, Rungus, and some of the Labuk Dusun, as well as the Tombonuo, a Paitanic group of Pitas District to the northeast. Nowadays, residence patterns are bilocal, as some parents allow their daughters to live in their husbands' villages, while others maintain the traditional arrangement where husbands stay in their wives' villages. Postnuptial residence of future spouses is decided upon by parents during preliminary negotiations regarding bridewealth (KK Maruda, pers. comm., March 2010).

As among other indigenous societies in Sabah, the conjugal family jointly headed by both mother and father is the basic social unit of Dusun Tinagas society. Spouses (sawo) must balance each other (mitimbang) in personality and role. Families work together in agricultural tasks as men undertake heavy jobs, while women and children do the lighter work. It is also the role of a husband to assist his wife during childbirth and to deliver their child. Parents share childrearing, and children are loved and treated with great tenderness. Neither gender is preferred over the other.

In the past, certain brave men became renowned as warriors, while gifted women were and in some villages still are respected as bobolian or priestesses of the traditional religion. While men were physically stronger than women, women were generally believed to be mentally and spiritually stronger than men. Only a gifted woman (who was usually a spirit medium) had the mental strength to memorize and chant the rinait, the long sacred poetic prayers and ritual chants. The rinait are structured from paired lines of poetry that uses older terms and expressions to convey vivid imagery and deep meanings. The first line in each couplet is in the common Kadazan Dusun language to address the human world, while the second (having the same meaning) is in the ritual language for the spirit world. Apart from bobolian, most people do not understand this ritual language. The role of the bobolian is to balance the spiritual and physical worlds and to mediate between the unseen and the seen on behalf of humans.

The traditional worldview recognized the existence of rogon or korambuol that are evil spirits who cause human suffering, osundu or benevolent helping spirits and celestial beings, spirits of the dead, rice spirits, and the Minamorun (who is referred to as the Minamangun in other Dusunic communities)-the Creator who is good and kind towards humans. The Creator has the personal name of Kinoroingan or Kinorohingan (God most high). He was believed to inhabit the highest levels of the tawan or upper world.

During former times of famine, extreme weather, epidemics, or warfare, the bobolian performed the moningolig to cleanse the universe from spiritual heat caused by sinful human actions and to restore balance between the human and spiritual realms. During this ritual series, each family constructed a small altar or tingolig made from bamboo bound with thin cane. The tingolig stood around one and a half metres high and half a metre square in front of their house or individual longhouse apartment. These simple, open structures contained seven tiers, representing the seven layers of the upper world above the earth, inhabited by good spirits. The blood and feathers of a chicken sacrificed by the most senior bobolian were placed on each tier, with the blood and feathers of seven white chickens on the highest, seventh tier in honour of the Creator who was believed to live beyond the seventh or highest realm of the universe. The tingolig were leftstanding in the village for three days to entreat his favour for help and protection over each family against the evil spirits (Ps. Duwasa, pers. comm., March 2010). Gong ensemble music and dancing marked the conclusion of major ritual events such as the moningolig, as well as weddings and other social events. Today, this music and dancing continues as an essential feature of weddings and important social gatherings, and is also part of special church gatherings.

Kampung Tagibang, where this preliminary study was carried out, has a population of around four hundred, all of whom are Christians of the SIB (Sidang Injil Borneo) or Evangelical Church of Borneo. Christianity was brought to this remote village around thirty years ago by Pastor Duwasa and his wife, who are Dusun from Kampung Tibabar in Ranau District. They spent months walking through the bush and over the mountains to reach the village. During the past seven years, the village has experienced a Christian revival. The village is still relatively isolated, accessible in dry weather by four-wheel drive vehicle or a two-hour trek from the nearest village during wet weather.

Most of the villagers are Dusun Tinagas, but some Kimaragang families are also present. Kimaragang cultural influence is seen, not only in the traditional uxorilocal residence, but in the styles of dancing practised and the former presence of the kulintangan set of kettle gongs in the gong ensemble.

The Dusun Tinagas gong ensemble

In Kampung Tagibang, the gongs of the ensemble are generally referred to as tagung (a term that denotes a particular type of thin brass gong in other Kadazan Dusun villages, but which is not present here) and the ensemble is called songkogungan. This term is often used among other Dusunic peoples such as the Kimaragang, Tobilung, and Rungus, where it refers to an incomplete Rungus gong ensemble that has only four or five gongs. It is also found among some villages of the Kadazan Dusun of Tambunan to indicate a set of hanging gongs without an accompanying drum. Other Dusun Tinagas villages, however, often use the term tinuhiyan for the gong ensemble.

The ensemble in Kampung Tagibang contains six hanging gongs. Three are small brass gongs with steep sides and flat front surfaces around their bosses (elsewhere described as sanang), and three are large, heavy, deep-sided bronze or brass gongs with raised ridges around the bosses (elsewhere referred to as tawag types). Formerly, gongs were traded into the interior of Sabah from the Iranun community of the west coast, and were highly valued items of wealth that often featured in traditional bridewealth. The gongs played in Kampung Tagibang today, however, are cheap copies of the traditional gongs, made from spray-painted zinc sheeting. They have been purchased from Kampung Sumangkap among the Rungus, which is today renowned for making inexpensive zinc gongs (Pugh-Kitingan 2004:32-23, 88-89; 2010).

When placed in an ensemble, each gong is given a musical name that denotes the part that it plays in the music. From smallest to largest, the gongs in the Kampung Tagibang ensemble are individually named: salasakon, poloniton, and kolimbongbongon or kolibongbongon (sanang types also collectively referred to as salasakon); polian, sunduron, and bogilon (tawag types) (figures 1 and 2).

The names of the gongs describe their sounds and the rhythmic patterns that they play. The name salasakon denotes a fast speed, while poloniton suggests a syncopated beat. Kolimbongbongon suggests a complicated syncopated pattern- the gong is hit with two sticks (pokoritik), one on the boss and the other (sounding bong bong) on the side. Similarly, the names of the three larger gongs-polian, sunduron, and bogilon-suggest their individual patterns if beaten separately, as well as their deeper resonant sounds. In Kampung Tagibang, as in most Dusun Tinagas villages, and also among the Rungus and Labuk Dusun, these three large gongs are tied together so that one person can beat the three of them with a single rubber- or beeswax-headed mallet (sosontuk) to play a composite melodic and rhythmic pattern.

The gongs can be hung in a straight line along the veranda of a house or the public gallery of a longhouse if there is sufficient space, with the three large gongs tied together at the end. Formerly in this village, the kulintangan (row of seven small kettle gongs on a rack) was also played together with the hanging gongs. Its music provided a melody over the composite rhythms of the other gongs. This instrument came into the village from the Kimaragang and is not usually found among other interior Kadazan Dusun communities. The last owner and performer of the kulintangan has passed away, and the instrument is no longer performed. From discussions with the villagers, it appears that it was played with the hanging gongs to accompany all genres of Dusun Tinagas dancing, not only those adopted from the Kimaragang.

As mentioned earlier, the songkogungan is played in traditional ritual contexts as well as at celebrations such as weddings and, nowadays, special church events. It usually accompanies dancing, and its music, of which there are two main pieces, varies according to the type of dance.

Dusun Tinagas dancing

In Kampung Tagibang, there are three main genres of dancing, and two types of gong music for dance. The dance genres are: mangalai (often with mongigol), pinakang, and dindang. The first of these can be described as the traditional Dusun Tinagas dancing with its distinctive music, while pinakang is a Kimaragang dance accompanied by the Kimaragang music for pinakang. Dindang is a local version of the Malay joget that is also danced to the music for pinakang. This paper will focus on the first genre.

The term mangalai is a verb that refers specifically to the relaxed, sedate dancing of Dusun Tinagas women. With arms hanging relaxed at their sides, three or four women move gracefully in a straight line. Their feet are not raised high offthe ground, and the dancers do not step up on their toes. Instead, the leftfoot leads the right foot with the main thrust through the heel and flat of the foot. The feet are kept close together, and their steps resemble graceful shuffling. As they step forward, they slowly turn their shoulders from side to side (sumirid). Other women join in at the end of the line, which then circles and intersects. Mangalai is the essence of Dusun Tinagas dancing (figures 3 and 4).

Sometimes, a line of dancing women may be accompanied by two men, one at each end. The verb mongigol refers to the main posture of the men's dancing, which features slow, alternating patterns of one arm raised and the other lowered, with the hands turning at the wrists (figure 5). The men move their feet with the same graceful shuffling steps as the women. The term mongigol comes from the root igol, which in other cultures and communities often conveys the idea of jumping for joy with arms outstretched. For example, mongigol refers to the second posture of magarang dancing among the Kadazan Dusun of Tambunan (known as sumazau among coastal Kadazan) and features both arms raised. And among the Rungus, the term mongigol is used for the boisterous dancing of a man at the head of a line of women whose dancing is called sumundai. At the end of the longhouse public gallery, he stops with both arms outstretched before turning and moving back along the gallery. In certain types of solemn ritual dancing among the Lotud Dusun, the first posture with the arms raised is also known as mongigol.

In the context of Dusun Tinagas dancing, however, mongigol is neither boisterous nor solemn, but conveys the idea of joyous celebration. It is somewhat similar to the sedate traditional pinakang of the Kimaragang, which also features two men (with both arms raised), one at either end of a line of women.

In Dusun Tinagas dancing, men and women move in a straight line, until the women begin moving in a circle formation. After this, the men may pass each other (misulak) as they cross in front of the women, but they do not cut into the line of women.

The sense of auspicious celebration and joy is emphasized by the elaborate traditional black or indigo ceremonial costumes (lapoi) worn by the dancers. The women wear a long overblouse (lapoi) that reaches down the back of the long embroidered skirt (tapi) and is embossed with red and white decorative strips (nundalo'). It has colourful handmade needle-weaving (tininanggo) and embroidery (gontian) along the seams, and is worn with silver coil belts (kitang), coin belts (sinsing), bead belts (torot), colourful bead jewellery (short sinandang necklace, long pinarunduk, and sinolu necklaces), and silver earrings (ranting). Hair decorations include a bone hairpin or timbok for a woman's bun, decorated with strings of beads (turaboi) and small silver or brass bells (giring) hanging from a strand of buttons (sipai) across the bun. This elaborate costume is also worn by a bride throughout her wedding celebrations that run for several days (figures 6 and 7).

The man's costume is less decorated and consists of a long-sleeved top (lapoi) and trousers (soruwai), worn with the traditional ceremonial headcloth (sigar pinakayan) and sashes (sopilang) crossing the chest. The sopilang worn with the sigar also indicates the ceremonial importance of the celebration. In olden days, a man would have worn a long loincloth and a sleeveless lapoi with the headcloth and sashes (figure 8).

Songkogungan music through the gaze of movement

As in most indigenous gong ensembles of the interior of Sabah, the hanging gongs are not specifically tuned, but are included in a set according to their size and type. Timbre, pace, and rhythm are more important in the music than melody, except where a kulintangan is played. In Kampung Tagibang, however, all the gongs have relatively clear pitches, except for the first salasakon. The timbre of these zinc gongs is harsh and clashing, unlike the brassier and more resonant sounds of traditional brass and bronze gongs.

From the gaze of movement of the musicians, each player beats the distinctive sound pattern for his or her gong. When these patterns are combined, they create a distinct texture that exists temporally as a result of the interrelationship between their parts. No individual player or musical part is more important than the others. Any one of the smaller gongs may initiate the music, and the others follow one after the other: all work together to create and sustain the music.

Figure 9 shows a phrase that is repeated over and over many times in the gong music to accompany mangalai and mongigol. The salasakon strikes a rapid regular beat, while the poloniton beats a syncopated pattern against this. The kolimbongbongon beats the same pattern on its boss as poloniton, but half a beat later, while its side is struck with a thin stick in time to the main underlining beat of the music. Some performers, however, strike the side of the kolimbongbongon rapidly in time to that of the salasakon. The three large gongs beat out a simple composite melodic pattern, which usually follows the same rhythmic motif as the poloniton. In some segments, however, the performer may inadvertently hit the reverberating gongs twice so that its rhythm is distorted.

Any one of the three salasakon (i.e., the salasakon itself, poloniton, or kolimbongbongon) may initiate the start of the music by summoning the other gongs and the dancers to begin. It is the rhythmic and melodic patterns formed by the composite beating of the polian, sunduron, and bogilon, however, which determine the basic dance movements, and dancers listen for the entrance of these three gongs at the beginning of a performance before starting to dance.

From the gaze of movement of the dancers, the women's foot movements in mangalai mirror the microrhythms of these three large gongs. For most women, their sumirid or turning of the shoulders alternates from side to side with every basic colotomic phrase of the music as outlined by these three gongs (figure 10). The sumirid of older women is often slower and may span two to three phrases. This enhances the visual impression of the spectator that the older women are more skilled and graceful, compared to younger women. With their careful steps and slow sumirid, they appear to glide along.

In mongigol, the men's foot movements also proceed according to the beats of the three large gongs. The duration of raising each arm alternately varies from two to six or more phrases of the music as outlined by these large gongs, while the turning of their hands roughly follows the foot movements.

Although the dancers' movements are coordinated in time to the gong music, they are not regimented. Women may turn their shoulders, and men raise their arms and turn their hands, at slower rates than that shown here. The movements of the dancing are thus the visual manifestation of the aural dimension of the musical sounds of the gongs, especially the three largest instruments. The visual impact of the dancing is enhanced by the wearing of the elaborate ceremonial costumes, which in turn symbolize the ritual or celebratory importance of the occasion.

Dusun Tinagas society in relation to gong ensemble music and dance In terms of space and movement, the linear procession of the dancers followed by their turning and intersection recalls traditional dance progressions along the veranda or public gallery of a longhouse. The spatial arrangement of the gongs also points to this traditional location.

From the gaze of the spectator, the dancing accompanied by gong music is not merely evocative of place but also a visual manifestation of social relationships. In egalitarian Dusun Tinagas society, social cohesion and solidarity are important. While certain people may be renowned for their personal skills and talents, strident individualism is not a feature of their society. Social solidarity was especially important in former times when the community as a whole faced threats from both human and spiritual enemies. The egalitarian and cohesive aspects of the society are reflected in mangalai; although each dancer moves and turns in her own style, the repetitive gong music informing the dancers' foot movements ensures cohesiveness. No single dancer assumes a dominant role over the others.

Similarly, mangalai with mongigol manifests the gender balance of the society. Just as men were warriors in the physical world while gifted women were warriors in the spiritual world, so two male dancers mongigol, one at each end of the line of women who mangalai in the middle. The gentle movements of the women with their arms hanging relaxed at their sides, is balanced by the alternate raising of the men's arms and turning of the hands. The comparative plainness of the men's outfits is balanced by the elaborate refinery and ornamentation of the women's costumes, with both expressing the ceremonial and celebratory importance of the occasion. Although the men may misulak or cross each other in front of the women, they do not cut into their line. Mangalai is the basis of Dusun Tinagas dancing, just as women are centrally important in Dusun Tinagas society. Yet in mangalai with mongigol, the women's movements do not dominate those of the men, and the men do not dominate the women. The reflections of gender balance and social cohesion are maintained through distinctive but complementary styles and energies.

At a deeper level, this dancing-gong music genre helps us to understand the Dusun Tinagas worldview, meanings, and values. In ritual, it is a statement of human solidarity and harmonious balance with the spiritual world, as mediated by the bobolian. It expresses joy and celebration (as implied in the term mongigol) in traditional contexts, such as: the ritual restoration of balance to the universe in moningolig; at socially significant events such as weddings, where husband and wife are joined to become misasawo or an equally balanced conjugal pair; and at harvest celebrations, where an excess of grain is consumed in the form of food and drink in honour of the Creator who created and provided the rice grains in the beginning. This expression of celebratory joy through movement to gong music has now become a valid Dusun Tinagas expression of Christian worship on significant occasions.


Among most indigenous communities of the interior of Sabah who play ensembles of hanging gongs, it is usually the total combined patterns and texture of the gong music that inform the movements of the dancers when dancing is present. In other communities where the kulintangan is played together with hanging gongs, such as coastal communities and interior communities with river access to the coast, the melodic motifs of the kulintangan are of primary importance, with the hanging gongs playing a supporting role (Pugh-Kitingan and John Baptist 2005). In most of these cases, the dancers listen to the music of the kulintangan over the composite sounds of the hanging gongs and move accordingly.

Among the Dusun Tinagas, however, it is the combined patterns of the three large deep-sounding gongs played by one performer that are primarily important in determining the dance movements of mangalai and mongigol. While the three higher-pitched salasakon have a role in announcing the music and giving substance to its structure, the dancers listen for and step according to the repeated motifs of the three large gongs. The relaxed sumirid or turning of the women's shoulders in mangalai is built upon this basis, as is the alternate raising of the men's arms and turning of the wrists in mongigol. Thus, the dancing continues without the presence of the now obsolete kulintangan.

Dusun Tinagas mangalai and mongigol are stylized movements for dancing on ceremonial or celebratory occasions. The wearing of the ceremonial lapoi emphasizes the importance of the occasion, as well as enhancing the visual aesthetics of the dance for the human spectators.

At a deeper level, this genre manifests social relationships in Tinagas society, particularly gender balance and the central role of women who were the traditional ritual specialists. It also reflects egalitarian social solidarity, while expressing joy in religious and celebratory contexts. As such, Dusun Tinagas gong music and dance mirror an ordered universe in which human beings live in proper relationships with one another, with the physical environment and the spiritual world according to the customary norms handed down from the Creator. Through movement, the gong ensemble music and its visual manifestation as dance point to the correct balance between the seen world of humans and the unseen spiritual world.


I wish to acknowledge the help of Ketua Kampung Maruda, the village headman of Kampung Tagibang, Pastor Duwasa of the SIB Church, Ranau area, and the people of Kampung Tagibang for their gracious hospitality and willingness to answer my persistent questions. I also want to acknowledge the loving help and support of my husband, Laurentius Kitingan from the Kadazan Dusun community of Tambunan, both in the field and in scanning the transcriptions for this paper.


bobolian-priestess or traditional ritual specialist, usually a senior woman

dindang-Dusun Tinagas version of the Malay joget dance

giring-small brass or silver bells hanging from women's hair decorations or along the hems of skirts

gontian-embroidered patterns on the Dusun Tinagas woman's costume

igol-root for mongigol; common Austronesian word for dance

joget-popular Malay dance

Kinoroingan-lit., "God most high"; the personal name of the Creator

kitang-a woman's coil belt

kolibongbongon-alternative name for kolimbongbongon

kolimbongbongon-musical name for the third hanging gong in the Dusun Tinagas ensemble; its name suggests a syncopated beat pattern and recalls the bong bong sound of its second beater on its side

korambuol-a kind of evil spirit or demon

kulintangan-row of small kettle gongs on a rack

lapoi-general term for the Dusun Tinagas traditional costume; also refers specifically to the overblouse of a woman and the shirt of a man

magarang-term for dancing accompanied by gong ensemble music among the Kadazan Dusun of the Tambunan District

mangalai-the verb for traditional Tinagas women's dancing

Minamangun-the Creator

Minamorun-the Creator (in Kampung Tagibang)

misasawo-husband and wife, a married couple

misulak-term for when two men cross one in front of the other as they mongigol

mitimbang-to balance

mongigol-the verb for traditional Dusun Tinagas men's dancing, with the alternate raising of each arm and turning hand movements; also used for dancing in the Rungus, Lotud, and some Kadazan Dusun communities; term for the second motif in the Kadazan Dusun dance from Tambunan

moningolig-rare, community-wide series of rituals performed during times of extreme weather and calamity to cleanse the universe from the effects of human sins


nundalo'-red and white decorative strips stitched across the shirts of Tinagas women's and men's costumes

osundu-good spirits from the upper world; angels or celestial beings

pinakang-traditional dance of the Kimaragang people, adopted by the Dusun Tinagas

pinarunduk-type of long bead necklace

pokoritik-name for the beater for each of the first three hanging gongs in the Dusun Tinagas ensemble

poloniton-musical name for the second hanging gong in the in the Dusun Tinagas ensemble; its name suggests a syncopated beat pattern

ranting-a woman's silver earrings

rinait-sacred ritual poetry and prayers chanted by a bobolian

rogon-evil spirits from the underworld, earth spirits, demons

salasakon-musical name for the smallest hanging gong in the Dusun Tinagas ensemble; its name suggests a fast beat; also the collective name for the first three gongs in the ensemble

sanang-generic name for a small brass hanging gong with a flat front surface around its boss, a short side, and a front diameter that is much larger than the back diameter


Sidang Injil Borneo-Evangelical Church of Borneo

sigar pinakayan-ceremonial headcloth worn on special occasions by Dusun Tinagas men

sinandang-short bead necklace

sinolu-long bead necklace

sinsing-a woman's coin belt

sipai-a string of old shell buttons worn across the bun at the back of the head by a Dusun Tinagas woman

songkogungan-name of the gong ensemble in Kampung Tagibang

sopilang-a pair of colourful sashes worn across the torso by men on ceremonial occasions

soruwai-a man's trousers

sosontuk-name for the single, rubber-headed mallet for beating the last three hanging gongs in the Dusun Tinagas ensemble

sumazau-name for dancing in the coastal Kadazan dialect of Kadazan Dusun

sumirid-turning of the shoulders during mangalai

sumundai-name for Rungus women's dancing

tapi-a woman's traditional tubular skirt

tawag-generic name for a large, heavy deep-sided bronze or brass gong, with a raised ridge around the boss, and a front diameter that is much larger than the back diameter

tawan-the upper world in the Dusun Tinagas worldview

timbok-decorated bone hairpin worn through a woman's bun

tingolig-seven-tiered altar made from bamboo and cane on which chicken feathers and blood were offered to the Creator to entreat his help and protection from evil spirits during the moningolig ritual series

tininanggo-Dusun Tinagas hand needle-weaving, known as linangkit among other Dusunic groups

tinuhiyan-alternative Dusun Tinagas name for the gong ensemble

torot-a woman's bead belt

turaboi-bead strings hanging from a woman's hair decoration

References cited

Appell, George N., and Laura W. R. Appell

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Author affiliation:

Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan (PhD, University of Queensland, 1982) holds the Kadazandusun Chair at Universiti Malaysia Sabah where she also teaches ethnomusicology, Borneo ethnography, and Borneo music studies. Her research interests include: the musics of Papua New Guinea and Sabah, East Malaysia (north Borneo); music, dance, and ritual systems; and ethnographic mapping. Her many publications include Selected Papers on Music in Sabah (2004), "Dance and Ritual in Sabah" in Sharing Identities (2011), "An Ethnomusicological Discussion of B T, the Chanted Tales of the Huli" in Sung Tales of the Papua New Guinea Highlands (2011), and Kadazan Dusun (2012).

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