Magarang is performed by the Dusun of Tambunan. The Magarang ritual is usually held to commemorate the harvest festival and weddings, although traditionally, the Magarang was also associated with headhunting. Normally, the sopogandangan beat by the gongs were played to accompany the Magarang ritual, but slower in tempo. In Tambunan, the sopogandangan has more instruments (nine-eight gongs and one drum) compared to the other districts such as Penampang. Sometimes, the sundatang, a long necked strummed lute that is mainly made of jackfruit wood can be played for personal entertainment or an accompaniment.
The Magarang dance consists of two basic movements.
First, the dancer steps from side to side, shifting the weight from one foot to the other while gentle swinging the arms at the sides to the beat of the music. Secondly, the dancer tiptoes with the arm raised. This graceful dance flows rhythmically in time to the syncopated gong beat.
See more at the festival from 29 April to 1 May at JKKN Sabah!