Injin Puput is this year's Sabah Fest 2013 theme theater show which is held at the JKKN Complex in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. While the name of the show sounds odd, it is actually derived from the local term of the old steam Vulcan train that once ran from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom. This is also the 6th year that the themed Sabah Fest Celebrations have been running and as for me, this is my second show where I caught last years theme show titled Adventures of Ngarayang.
Sabah Fest 2013 is celebrated yearly from May 1st till 31st where the entire state celebrates the Kaamatan or Harvest Festival of the local people here. The theme Injin Puput showcases a story of two interesting folktales about the local Murut people and about the reminiscences of a grandfather and his experience with the railway.
Murut Warrior and a beautiful Bajau girl
Starting the show, the opening act highlights a Murut Warrior (an actual one too) who shares his premonition of his dream of the arrival of white men who came with a steel dragon which then leads into what the Vulcan stream trains that were introduced into Borneo back then.
Opening performance for Injin Puput
Bajau Putatan performance
In the second act, a grandfather named Aki Arusap takes his grandson for a train ride on the current North Borneo Railway train to fulfill an overdue promise to the boy. In this narrative journey, Aki shares with the boy his experiences back in the day and what he saw along his journey. The highlight was that Aki's own father was once an assistant to a British rail engineer and how his father met his wife, a beautiful Chinese girl who sold snacks when the train stopped at stations.
Aki Gounin and Mei Ling
A Chinese musician
The story then revolves around the romance of Aki's father (Aki Gounin) and the Chinese girl (Mei Ling) where mixed marriages were then not common. Along that romantic journey, various tribes and people of Sabah are introduced in this exciting and colorful stage performance. You will see the Bajau Putatan doing their Betitik and Limbai dance and also the Kadazan from Papar who showcase their martial arts called Bosilat Mandung-Mandung and also the Sazau Modsuhung dance.
The Bogawan Brunei are also featured with a beautiful traditional Ampok Ampok Bulan dance while the Kadayan Beaufort people perform their Cuk Surapit and Chamchambi Dance. Finally you will also see the fascinating Murut people with their Kalimaran Festival where dances like the Anggalang, Magunatip and the Langsaran is performed.
Below are pictures taken during the media preview of Injin Puput which was held on the 2nd of May 2013 at Kompleks JKKN. The actual premier show is opened to the public on the 3rd and 4th May. Click on the image to see the full size photos.
Murut girls in traditional costumes
Beaufort Kedayan dancers doing the Cuk Surapit dance
Murut Warriors at the last part of the show
The show then ends with a massive performance of the Murut people doing a warrior dance which leads into a triple bamboo dance performance which I must say, was pretty impressive. I have seen the Bamboo Dance many times before with two people dancing through, but this time around, I saw them do it in threes. And also much faster than the conventional ones.
Injin Puput finale with cast and crew on stage
At the end, the entire cast is brought onto stage where a performance of local popular Sabahan songs are sung and danced by everyone. The colors are amazing on stage while on a personal note, the lighting wan spectacular. I also noticed that the traditional music that was going on during the show was actually live where an entire group of musicians were seen at one corner.
Injin Puput finale
So if you are in Kota Kinabalu for the month of May and love some cultural activity, go and catch this show which is held only on the weekends. Best is to walk into Sabah Tourism Board office (Tel: 088 212121) in Gaya Street or Sri Pelancongan Sabah office for detailed information for the Sabah Fest 2013 show - Injin Puput.