The Ngajat Dance








Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Ngajat Dance




Accompanied by the melody of gong, engkeromong, bebendai and others traditional musical instrument, the Ngajat dance is performed during Gawai Dayak celebration which is one of the Ibans’ festival. Apart from that, it is also performed in other occasions such as welcoming guests and during formal dinner.

Traditionally, the Ngajat dance was performed by male dancers to celebrate warriors who had just returned home from war. The dancers would wear loincloth and their heads would be accessorized with feathers on their headgears. A sword and a shield would accompany each of them in the dance. The moves are swift and fierce as if the dancers are on the battle field.

 Nowadays, the dance is performed by both men and women. The female dancers will wear “sugu tinggi”(headdress) on their heads, handmade beads covering their necks, heavy chains of coins and a knee-length weaved dress. The moves are more soft and graceful. When I was a kid, I used to help my mother to weave the Ngajat dress. She also had made the handmade beads for me to wear during my performance in 2001.


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