Oct 13, 2015


This unique art festival features the aboriginal/ indigenous peoples from various countries: Maori (New Zealand), Aboriginal (Australian), Zulu (South Africa), Aboriginal (Papua New Guinea), Samoas (Samoa) and Malaysia’s Orang Asli. A highlight is the village lifestyle embedded into musical and danced performances which are rich with presentations, displays and histories.

The programme, which is being held for first time in Malaysia, is hosted by the National Department of Culture and Arts (JKKN) in collaboration with the Department of Orang Asli Development and Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The festival would also showcase the uniqueness of these indigeneous people, as well as to create a strong regional network of indigenous communities.

The Orang Asli from Malaysia is represented by the Terenloi Post Raya Group, Perak; Bahbola Group (Semai tribe), Gombak; Jo'oh Group (Mahmeri orang asli), Pulau Carey; Swang Lanok Group (Temuan), Negri Sembilan; Semelai from Pahang and ethnic Ibans of Sarawak.

In the Peninsular, Orang Asli kept to themselves until the first traders from India arrived in the first millennium. Historically, living in the interior they bartered inland products like resins, incense woods and feathers for salt, cloth and iron tools. The Orang Asli comprises only 0.5% of the total population in Malaysia of approximately 148,000. On the Eastern part of Malaysia, a more populous people and a great part of indigenous Malaysian culture are the Iban’s of Borneo. The oral history of the Iban has traditionally been committed to memory and recorded in a system of writing on boards (papan turai) by the initiated shamans, or lemambang. This includes elaborate genealogical records, which usually go back about fifteen generations, although some purport to go back up to twenty-five. These genealogies (tusuts) are essentially records of who married and begat whom. Sometimes a name is accompanied by a short description, a praise-name (ensumbar). Some of the songs of the Iban people's oral history (such as the ritual pengap chant, sung during festivals) are mythological or historical accounts. Come and learn about this treasure of our national and human cultural heritage. Tourism Malaysia is proud to be part of the International Indigenous And Aborigines Art Festival.

Copyright © 2023 Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB). All Rights Reserved. View Our Terms of Use