Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Allan Dumbong

Kaamatan 2006 is just around the corner. As usual, the Kadazandusun Cultural association has been very busy coordinating with the State Government on how best to stage the Kaamatan 2006 and achieve greater height of achievements. It is indeed commendable that KDCA, being the largest cultural organization in Sabah, and arguably the most active and consisten in promoting Sabah as a cultural tourism destination in Malaysia.
However, there ar many things to consider in improving the celebration of the Festival. Whiles we are mindful of the objective of bringing more tourists and foreign money into the State, we should not be blinded with the materialistic objectives. KDCA is also in the business of preserving the traditional culture, reviving the noble long-lost values, traditions, events into the mdern era. Many things are in my mind whenver I mentioned about preservation of cultures.
In this column, I would like to share about "lumba kerabau" or buffalo racing which used to be a popular component of kaamatan in the pasts. My suggestion is simple and straightforwad, "BING BACK THE LUMBA KARABAU TO KAAMATAN". I challenge the organizers of kaamatan throughout the State, which would be mostly District Officers, to revive this popular traditional sport. If you're short of ideas on how to organize it, I am pleased to outline herewith the rules and regulations which could be considered as a guideline.

2.1 Rules Of The Lumba Kerbau (Buffalo Race)
(i) Race Track:
The length of the race track is 200 meter. Both sides of the track will be a rope of at least 1” diameter, tightened, and strong enough to block spectators from entering the track. Warning signs and red cloths could be fixed along the rope to warn spectators of the potential dangers associated with the race. The race should be organized in a spacious area, like football field. It’s good if the field is fenced so that the spectators could watch outside the fence and not worry unnecessarily about their safety.
(ii) Number Of Buffalo:
Managing a herd of buffalo is not an easy task. Having a big number of buffalo at one particular time is also not an easy job for farmers. Therefore, in order to optimize whatever number of buffalos, it is advisable that there is no more than five (5) buffalo per race.
(iii) Timing:
Taking the time of each buffalo to reach the finishing line might be a huge task. However, since, there could be a number of races; it is good to take the timing. The winner, obviously, the one with the fastest time, and of course, completes the race with its jockey remains on the back.
(iv) Jockey:
The jockey rides bareback astride the water buffalo's rump, slaps him with a switch and bumps along on his sprinting steed
(v) disqualification:
It is acceptable that the buffalo (together with the jockey) stray away from the race track. Normally it’s quite difficult to steer the buffalo, especially when it doesn’t cooperates. However, the racer will not qualify to get prizes if the buffalo doesn’t come back to track and finish the race.
(vi) Types Of Buffalo:
Any buffalo will do. However, the organizer is prohibited to organize the event in such a way that it’s interpreted as doing cruelty to animal. Therefore, calves, pregnant, sick and wild buffalos are not allowed to enter the contest.
(vii) Prizes:
Anything will do. However, it is recommended that the winners are presented with the followings;
· Cup
· Money
· Incentive to take care of the buffalo
· Certificate
(viii) Race Announcer:
Must be able to create jokes and humor while covering the race. However, he/she must be able to explain clearly the rules and regulations of the race.
(ix) Judges:
The judges decision is final.
(x) Safety:
Safety is paramount in this race. The Organizer must ensure that the buffaloes entered to the race is healthy and has no record of goring people. The Jockey must wear crash helmets and other gears to protect him from getting injured. Race organizer must provide security guards to ensure that spectators do not stand before an approaching buffalo. Underage children who get attracted to this event must be guide3d by parents or adults.
(Xi) Entrance Information:
All contestants have to register with the organizer. It’s good if the Organizer could prepare an entrance form which solicits the particulars of the jockey (name, NRIC, age, address, declaration that he is healthy, fit and familiar about the behavior of a buffalo), name of the buffalo.

1 comment:

Desmond said...

Hehehe...interesting. Maybe will recommend that in Pesta Lawas?