What is Kumang contest? It is a beauty pageant for Dayak women, which usually held prior to or during Gawai festival. Gawai festival is celebration of the end of harvesting season for Dayak, which marks the new year in the Dayak (paddy) calendar.
I was watching football match with my girlfriends in my parents' hometown last year, when a friend asked why I never joined Kumang contest. I wondered, why did she think that I am fit to enter such competition, or was she merely asking? I did not enter because I thought that I am too short, was too skinny and I do not know how to cat-walking. I should have asked her why she did not then, instead, because she is pretty, tall and intelligent. Now she is a married woman with a daughter. We call her 'hot mama'. She is the one I wrote about in October Bidayuh lady of the Month 2010. I have another friend, Felicia, (whom I featured in my BFF contest post) who wanted to join Kumang last two years. But she cancelled her plan because she was not ready with the costumes. She was also expecting, but not obvious at that time. She is very pretty and married, with a daughter. But she is very petite. We call her 'little mama'. My sister also wanted to participate in Kumang contest in our kampong last year, but unfortunately, there were some new rules: a girl who does not reside currently in kampong and of mixed parentage is not eligible to join. My sister would violate both of the rules if she joined. However, I do not think any violation would actually happen if she joined. We are still Dayak!
|Kumang Gawai Kg Pichin Under 18, 2008.|
|Kumang Gawai Kg Pichin Above 18, 2008.|
|Kumang Gawai Kg Pichin 2009.|
|Kumang Gawai Kg Pichin 2010.|
Asih-asih nyanda, dayung Bidayuh kai paguh?