Monday, June 13, 2011

Sape...instrument of the Gods of Borneo

  • Sape is not even the original name it was called. It was firstly known as sampe' by the Lebu' Kulit Tribe among the Kenyah's race in Kalimantan ,Borneo .Who was the inventor of the instrument. Now people call it sape, sapeh and sampik , it all depend on the reporters spelling. Even so as the instrument being used by people of various ethnic, they have name for it according to their own tongue.
  • Who was this historical inventor? His name was called Anye' Selung. Again some writers spell his name as Nyik Selung and Anyik Selong. He was a limping man. He got a high fever for many days. On one particular day he got this strange encounter or rather a dream where he was instructed by spirits to invent the instrument. When he got up he was healed. He then shape this "Jelutung wood" and carved it according to what he was instructed. He used Pineapple leave threat as the strings.
Later the news spread so quickly to the surrounding villages. He was transported to many nearby villages to play the instrument which they believe can heal people of their sicknesses. People would carry him by four because he was limping. The dancing with the music comes much later. Every time when the people have festival or celebration he would be asked to play the instrument. The people would dance "they call it kancet", most commonly called 'ngajat'.


Toyin O. said...

Interesting, thanks for sharing.

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