Cultural convergence in the music and oral traditions of the Kadazan Dusun of Membakut, Sabah

Agnes Ku Chun Moi (2019) Cultural convergence in the music and oral traditions of the Kadazan Dusun of Membakut, Sabah. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

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This thesis explores the oral traditions and music of the Kadazan Dusun from Membakut Sub-District of Beaufort District in southwest Sabah. The Membakut Kadazan Dusun are ethnically heterogeneous, being descended from Kadazan Dusun and other indigenous peoples who worked on plantations and a district seaport under the pre-War North Borneo Company administration. They live near other communities, such as the Brunei and the Chinese. It appears that little cultural research has been undertaken among the Kadazan Dusun in Membakut. Thus, the purpose of this study was to document and analyse the main genres of Kadazan Dusun oral traditions and music from Membakut, to examine the influence of oral traditions and music of neighbouring peoples among these Kadazan Dusun, and to evaluate the vitality of Membakut Kadazan Dusun oral traditions and music. This research is based on fieldwork in six Kadazan Dusun villages in Membakut that used in-depth interviews with expert informants and video recording of performances of music and ritual ceremonies. Genres and events recorded included lullabies, secular rumibag songs, oral narratives, mangkadi/u mortuary practices, community mamanta cleansing ceremonies, and barasik healing rituals. The recorded oral literature and music were transcribed and analysed. The study shows that extensive cultural convergence has occurred between the Membakut Kadazan Dusun and neighbouring peoples. With the advent of new entertainment media, most of the commonly heard secular vocal music of the past is nowadays largely unknown among younger generations. Gong ensemble music and ritual ceremonies, however, are still widely performed. This research will thus be an important record for the younger generation to understand and to appreciate their culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keyword: Music , Oral traditions , Kadazan Dusun
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore > GR1-950 Folklore > GR99.6-390 By region or country
Department: FACULTY > Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage
Depositing User: DG MASNIAH AHMAD -
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2022 11:12
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 11:12

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