Two young generation of Iban and Bidayuh in their own traditional costume.
Gawai Dayak in Sarawak was first celebrated on 1st June 1965 and became a symbol of unity, aspiration and hope for the Dayak community. Today, it is an integral part of Dayak social life. It is originally a thanksgiving day marking good harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or activities ahead. On the modernisation of Dayak, Gawai should also a thanksgiving day marking the good achievement of Dayaks in whatsoever field they involve.
For Mukah, our Working Committee or Ahli Jawatan Kuasa (AJK) was formed in 2005 with En Tuah Suni, a Bidayuh being the first Chairman. He was also the Chairman for Dayak Bidayuh National Organization (DBNA), Mukah Branch. Before the formation, the Dayak from three ethnics in Mukah which compromise of Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu was organizing their own gawai celebration, in different venue and date.
With the formation of the AJK, all the three Dayak groups were uniting in one committee to work together and succeed the new era of Gawai celebration in Mukah. The first Gawai Celebration was organized to only about 50 tables sold to the public. Most of them are Dayak in town areas and along Selangau-Mukah Road. This was considering successful for the pioneer of Gawai Celebration in this small town where the Dayak are the minority.
For the second celebration, which was chaired by the Chairman of Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), Mukah Branch, En Solomon Kumbong repeated the success of first celebration with 65 tables was sold out. This was actually the maximum tables that could occupy at Dewan Suarah Mukah, the only venue for a big function in Mukah. And this time, the function is not succeeding only by the Dayak group but also attract the other races like Melanau, Malay, and Chinese.
For the third year of celebration, which was chaired by En Andy Rengkai, but later succeeds by his deputy, En Sulai Limbang creates a new history for Mukah on Gawai Celebration. For the first time, Malam Perpaduan Gawai Mukah changes its venue to the newly completed Kingwood Resort where 100 tables were sold out.
For the fourth year of Celebration, again at Kingwood Resort, 115 tables (approximately 1,150 crowds) were sold out which attract the participation from almost all the longhouses in Mukah and Dalat District and of course from other races as well. The Chairman was En Dobat Ponit, where his AJK try to create new changes for the celebration. Iban and Orang Ulu were performing their Ngajat accompanied by live music. The musicians were imported form their origin land, Orang Ulu from Belaga and Iban from Kapit. Bidayuh community was performing a dance from Bidayuh Bau (Jagoi/Singai), which I knew the first to perform in Mukah Division.
Who said that Dayaks could not be united? Maybe this is just my point of view in a very small scale of organization, “With the achievements, the Dayaks in Mukah have shown a very good example on the true Dayak unity. No doubt and I am proud to be part of the AJK which perhaps the biggest crowd for a modern gawai celebration organized by NGO in Sarawak.”
However, the participation from the other races and local leaders, as well as the head of department from government and private agencies also contributes major roles.
With very minimum resources on funds and materials, the Dayaks in Mukah have try their very best to close the leaks, through creative and innovative efforts to endure their tradition and culture. They still maintain the original Gawai with the appearance of “ranyai”, “miring” ceremony, “tuak” served and share among them, traditional crafts from various ethnics for the decorations, and unique traditional dance for the grand celebration.
As such, I have no doubt that the Malam Perpaduan Gawai Dayak Mukah is really the symbol of modern Gawai and Dayak unity in Mukah.
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"Miring" ceremony a symbolic for the opening ceremony...
A busy and packed Ball Room, Kingwood Resort on the Malam Perpaduan Gawai Dayak Mukah 2008
A young beautiful Iban maid in Iban traditional costume
Two Iban Warriors on their performance vying on Keling Gawai Mukah 2008
The Finalist for Keling Gawai Mukah 2008
The Finalist For Kumang Gawai Mukah 2008
Lady of The Nite.... Kumang Gawai Mukah 2008
The Finalist of Kumang and Keling Gawai Mukah 2008