The Tun Jugah Foundation, a foundation formed to preserve and promote the Iban culture, arts and language, is sending an accomplished ‘Tukang Sabak’ or Iban dirge expert/soul guide, Siah anak Tutong, to participate in an international lamentations performance in New York.
Siah is from Rumah Nabau in Entawau, Baleh in Kapit.
According to the foundation chairperson Leonard Linggi Jugah, the performance is a cultural event created by an American artist called Taryn Simon in collaboration with Dr Ida Nicolaisen, former vice-chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues.
“It is hosted and sponsored by the Park Avenue Armoury, a non-profit arts institution in New York City,” he said in a statement in Kuching today.
Linggi said the performance would be held from Sept 13 to 25 at the Armoury’s Wade Thomson Drill Hall.
“The Park Avenue Armoury is one of New York City’s most important cultural institutions.
“More than 25 participants from countries such as Ghana, India, Kyrgystan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Columbia, China, Finland, Kenya, Bhutan, Ecuador, Greece, Venezuela and Romania will take part in the event,” he said.
“The performance looks at the professionalism of grief from an anthropological perspective and invites cultural experts to share their unique ceremonial lamentations that follow the loss of human life,” he said.
Linggi added Siah would leave for New York tomorrow and she would be accompanied by the foundation’s museum curator Janet Rata anak Noel.
“She will return to Sarawak on Sept 26 to begin preparing for a trip to London in May 2017 where she will be participating in a second installation of this cultural event.” he said.