Yesterday, after work, i went to Kinokuniya KLCC for book session. Yes, i am book lover, and would like to check on some new books in the store.
I think i checked almost 10 new books on the ‘Highlite’ section, when i finally saw this precious book “Footprints in the Paddy Fields by Tina Kisil”!
The book is both a family portrait and a childhood memoir, set against the vanished world of bamboo huts on spindly timber stilts, a world where one’s prized possessions were makeshift farm tools and a buffalo or two, and where the dead were placed in stone burial jars. Those were the days when removing human heads was a sport, and the only mode of transport was a pair of good legs.
The author takes you on a fascinating journey into a world seldom seen, to see how the Dusuns in Sabah on the island of Borneo lived at a time when wealth was measured by the amount of rice a farmer harvested and a hardworking sumandak made a more alluring bride than her pretty sister.
It really makes me laugh to read lot of scenes back then. I remember my mother, aunties and grandma, used to tell me the same story on how they survived during those days.
I am a proud Dusun myself, and reading this book really makes me understand certain things in life. I remember how strong my Ina (grandmama) herself. Well, its true that in Asia, maybe more in Dusun culture, woman need to be like a ‘Bamboo and Silk’. Must be as strong as Bamboo to face any obstacle, calm in any situation, accept the life as it is, swallow all the hurt inside. Must be as soft as silk, to be a graceful and well mannered woman.
Well, i am so grateful for someone had take the efforts to write this beautiful book. Thank you so much Ms Tina Kisil!
Luang luangnyei tanggoh,
Tanggoh do Tonggolusan,
Hollow the water vessel,
The water vessel of Tonggolusan
Look who is approcahing,
Ringgit of Tonggolusan
Hehe..i love the poem meant for a beautiful Sumandak named Ringgit. There must be lots of other Dusun poem back then, and yea, hopefully someone will write another book to preserve the beauty of Dusun culture!