1 – 8 July 2009 (South Africa): Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan, who holds the UMS Kadazandusun Chair, recently presented some of her ethnomusicological research on the ritual world of the Lotud Dusun of Tuaran, Sabah, at the ICTM 40th World Conference in South Africa.
ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) is one of the major world bodies dealing with research in Ethnomusicology. Every two years, ICTM organizes an international conference at a chosen location. Various universities and institutions bid to organize these events. From 1 to 8 July 2009, the ICTM World Conference was held on the continent of Africa for the first time — at the Howard College Campus of University KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.
The paper The Symbolic Articulation of Interactions between the Seen and the Unseen through Gong Ensemble Music and Dance in the Mamahui Pogun of the Lotud Dusun of Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia, was jointly presented by Dr. Jacqueline and Dr. Hanafi Hussein of Universiti Malaya. Based on fieldwork in Tuaran together with Miss Judeth John Baptist, Assistant Curator of the Research and Marketing Division of Sabah Museum, and the late Puan Uwoi Bialah @ Odun Rinduman, the most senior Lotud Tantagas (priestess), the paper was part of a special panel of the ICTM Study Group on Southeast Asian Performing Arts entitled Seeking Other Worldly Realms in a Southeast Asian Context. The panel was chaired by renowned ethnomusicologist Professor Dr. Patricia Matusky, formerly of Universiti Sains Malaysia, who is now Adjunct Professor at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA.
Dr. Jacqueline, as holder of the Kadazandusun Chair, was selected to present in this Panel in recognition of her ethnomusicological research in Sabah, Malaysia, over the past 27 years. (She is also internationally known for her research in Papua New Guinea.) For her it was another opportunity to promote UMS and the Kadazandusun Chair, as well as Sabah’s indigenous cultures, in the world’s academic arena.
The Conference attracted ethnomusicologists from throughout the world, as well as across the African continent (see Plates).