When I was in Kudat, Sabah, I had the opportunity to visit a village in Pinawantai that is synonym with a traditional musical instrument – Gong. The village, Kampung Sumangkap
is situated in Matunggong District, on the way to Kudat and is about 92 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu City.
Top: small gongs that can be bought as souvenirs
I was on my way from Kudat to Kota Marudu with my former student and he made a stop at the village. He knew the village and the people well since he is a teacher at a local primary school, SRK Pinawantai.
As soon upon entering the village, gong producing sheds can be seen on both sides of the road. This village seems to be the cottage industry under the one village one product concept. According to my student, the gong produced are made from zinc sheets and not bronze anymore like in the olden days.
The gong is one of the compulsory musical instrument in all Sabah ethnic celebrations. Gongs comes in many sizes and it is either singlely hanged or arranged on a special rack. Gong is not alien to people of Malaysia either in East Malaysia or Peninsular Malaysia, since some officiating ceremonies need the VIP to hit the gong symbolising the launch of the activity.
For the rest of the story I’ll let the pictures do the talking.