On hearing the word bamboo, most people might think of endangered panda bears. But a unique music festival in Malaysia looks set to change that image for ever.
The Sabah Bamboo Music Festival showcases the instruments and musical styles that this beautiful natural material can create.
On November 26th the town Tamparuli, on the west coast of the state of Sabah, plays host to this event, which features performances from the renowned Kinabalu Bamboo Orchestra, who will delight the crowd on a plethora of instruments made from the material.
Important bamboo instruments include the sompoton, which is a kind of aerophone and the tagunggak, which resembles an idiophone.
Bamboo”s musical applications are not the only thing on offer. Bamboo has been used in a variety ways in all areas of life to those who have grown up with it as a key resource.
Local daredevils will test their balance and skill with bamboo stilt-walking – known as rampanau – and raft-building displays.
This festival offers a unique insight into the way in which people local to this part of the world are adept at using their natural surroundings.
What”s more it raises questions about how all civilisations are pragmatic and ingenious about making the most of what nature provides for them on their doorstep.
There are around 1,000 different species of bamboo found around the world, and it is found naturally mainly in east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
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