Alena Murang showcases a contemporary take on an old Kelabit courtship song “Midang Midang”, from the pre-Christian era, handed to Alena by her grandaunt Tepu’ Ira. It is of a young girl, sitting watching the leaves of fruit tree drying in the sun, as she calls out the name of the men whom she would like to shield her from the cool wind.
Each film department was led by a Kelabit youth, as a form of expressing their heritage in a contemporary way, supported by their respective teams.
This video is a collaboration between Alena Murang and Project Room production house, led by their in-house director Sarah Lois Dorai. It was important to Alena and Sarah to shoot in their homeland, where the song and the language came from – Bario highlands. The costumes were by Sarawakian designers and craftswomen. Kelabit people of Borneo are about 6000 people with our language listed as “threatened”, spoken by 3000 people and declining. We are part of the Austronesian language group.
Friday 25 September 2020
The Civic Theatre