Persatuan Dayak Miri (DAM)
When in the Land of the Hornbills, why not expose your child to one of the many traditional performing art classes available from the Dayak indigenous community? Children can learn traditional musical instruments such as the sape, the traditional lute of the Orang Ulu (upriver people). It can reach to over a metre in length and is used as a social instrument to accompany dances or as a form of entertainment. Dance classes are available in the form of the Ngajat, an ethnic dance usually performed during the Gawai Dayak harvest festival. Dancers adorn intricate costumes and headgear decorated with bird feathers. Male dancers usually carry a wooden shield and a sword. Music is provided by large and small gongs, drums and the sape. In Miri, the Persatuan Dayak Miri (DAM) promotes the Dayak culture through music and dance classes such as the Betabuh (traditional music) and the Ngajat. Classes are held during school holidays and children as young as five years are welcome. Rumah Persatuan Dayak, Level three, Jalan Merpati, Miri, Sarawak (08 543 5467/www.dam.org.my).