Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) chief advisor Datuk Seri Micheal Manyin chided organizer of Bidayuh traditional beauty pageants for naming their events “Kumang” an Iban term for such an event.

Datuk Sri Micheal Manyin

Manyin, who is also Minister of Education, Science and Technology Research said the proper name should be ‘Dayung Timungun’ or ‘Dayung Sangon’ – ‘beautiful maiden’.

The Bidayuh community, although makes only eight percent or about 170,000 out of total Sarawak population of 2.7 millions speak more than twenty dialects, which collectively make up the Bidayuh language, according to Micheal Manyin.

These dialects (pdf) are traditionally grouped into four main clusters, namely Bukar-Sadung, Biatah, Bau-Jagoi and Salako-Rara.

The Serian Bidayuh calls Kumang Gawai contest as Dayung Timungun, while those in Bau areas – use the term Dayung Sangon.

“We are not supposed to use the name ‘kumang’ in our traditional beauty contests because that word comes from the Saribas,” he said officiating the grand finale of the Kumang Gawai Bidayuh Sarawak 2017 at Kampung Panchor Dayak village, near Kuching.

The Serian Bidayuh calls the Ibans as Saribas.

He also prefer Bidayuh to use the term ‘Dari Pimagap’ a Serian Bidayuh dialect for Kaleng or Keling in Iban.

Manyin said the Bidayuh need to keep on preserving their dialects and must use Bidayuh terms instead of borrowing from other tongues.

Participants of Kumang Gawai Bidayuh 2017.

Participants of Kumang Gawai Bidayuh 2017.

[via The Borneo Post]