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Type :article
Subject :M Music
Main Author :Mohd Kipli Abdul Rahman
Title :"Oooohh ngalai! sudah hilangkah tulah": a healing ritual performance of Bajau Samah Community in Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia (IR)
Year of Publication :2017
PDF Full Text :Click to view PDF file

Abstract :
This study explores into the ngalai ritual performance practiced by Bajau Samah community in Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia which serves as a healing method. The study was done using a qualitative approach through the ethnographic strategy application concentrating on the relationship between behaviour and culture. In terms of performance, ngalai is a combination of the elements of dance, singing, music and acting. Traditionally, the ngalai ritual is performed for healing purposes that is based on the animistic religious beliefs which is derived from believe in the existence of spirits (metaphysical entity). Individual who is able to see spirits is said to be capable and have the privilege of curing a disease caused by tulah (plague) due to the interference of spirits. The community of ngalai practitioners believes that the physical world is influenced by the metaphysical world, especially where it concerned the existence of other worldly beings, the myths and spirits associated with their ancestors. They also believe that the places they inhabit are also shared with the presence of these other worldly, spiritual beings. Based on these beliefs, offerings are prepared and rituals are done in the ngalai performance with the main aim of respecting and asking permission from these spiritual beings to help with the healing process The healing aspect in ngalai is categorized as communal healing as well as faith healing, referring to the ritual practice that relates to religious beliefs and healing that happen following the method adopted involving patients and the public. Thus, this study seeks to present a justification of ngalai ritual performance that serves as a medium of healing and is still significant in the present context.


1. Mohd Kipli Abdul Rahman. (2009). Mabuk mistikal: Semiotik metafizik dalam kuda kepang mabuk. Penang: USM Publisher. 2. Mohd Kipli Abdul Rahman. (2015). Bebayuh: From healing ritual to traditional performance. IJASOS - International E-Journal Of Advances In Social Sciences, 1(2), 136-141. doi: 3. Narupon Duangwises & Lowell D. Skar (Editor). (2016). The Folk Performing Arts in ASEAN. Bangkok: Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Antropology Centre, SAC Publication

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