Kalang Sama: The Identity of Bajau People through their Verbal Art

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Identity preservations among the ethnic groups are one of the main agenda in Borneo. There are many sources of preservation materials such as verbal art. The members of an ethnic group of Sabah known as Bajau use songs to hide their cultural aspects of life and identity in their arts. This paper will using the verbal art sources used to called kalang among the group. This paper will examine the double meaning and cultural aspects potrayed in the song to symbolize their identity among the indigenous groups in Sabah. Therefore, in order to explore the hidden culture in the verbal art, people must view the verbal art through the intermingling process among this ethnic group with others. Coincidently they live neighborly to the other ethnic groups and thus, become trilingual people. Astonishingly many cultural aspects are preserved and the esthetic value in their traditional song still remains. Indirectly, the intermingling process became the strength to maintain and preserve their identity in the modern world.


Keywords: Folksong, Culture, Bajau Society, Sabah Indigenous People
Stream: Language, Linguistics
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Kalang Sama


Dr. Saidatul Nornis Mahali

Senior Lecturer, Center for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

I am a linguist who work with Universiti Malaysia Sabah for 8 years. My interests focus on the language and cultural research among the indigenous groups in Sabah. my expertised is on the anthropological linguistic and most of my work based on the cultural and language of the Bajau society in Sabah, Malaysia.

Ref: H08P0056