Volunteers erecting the Itut.
SIBU (July 1): A towering Melanau traditional swing or ‘Itut’ measuring 43 feet high, which will be erected in conjunction with Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) 2023, is expected to be ready on July 9.
The ‘Itut’, also known as the ‘Tibau’ in the Mukah Melanau dialect, will be one of the highlights during the festival held at Dataran Tun Tuanku Haji Bujang, according to Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) deputy chairman Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar Roseley.
“Today is just the assembly of the tower – the rest for them to ensure it is safe for use during BCF. It will be a free ride for those who want to try it,” he told reporters when met today.
SMC has appointed the Kampung Nangka Melanau Welfare Association to manage the construction of the giant swing.
Its chairman Abang Carrol Abang Dris said a few of the swing’s components will be built next Saturday.
“Most volunteers here are working people, so they cannot do the job on the weekdays,” he explained.
Touching on the Itut’s history, he said it is a past-time for village folks in the past after fruit season.
“They had nothing to do, so they all gathered together to do these activities to mingle around,” he said.
Meanwhile, Izkandar said there will be a lot of activities being held during BCF, and they would be more interactive for visitors.
“For the Malay/Melanau side, they have also learned methods on preparing food and the language, and there will also be activities from the Dayak and Chinese stage.
“We don’t want (the festival this year) to be so ‘common’ where we just go to eat and watch shows – we want something that people can experience,” he said.
On the main stage, there is opening and closing night as well as international night which will showcase performances from Thailand, Indonesia and China.