The Kelabits are Christians and live in long houses in the mountains and some in Brunei. They have quite the same connection with the Lun Bawang tribe and practice traditional agriculture.
The custom of receiving guests or warriors is implemented in various stages as follows:
1. SERVING PINEAPPLE JUICE
The guests are served with pineapple juice at the main entrance before entering the long house. This is to quench their thirst after a tiring walk.
2.SINGING PETABI MEDTING(WELCOME)
The guests are then entertained with a welcome song before ushered into the living room. This singing is to appreciate the guests assumed as to bring good luck and fortune.
3. BEATING THE TUBONG
The beating of the tubong (a kind of musical instrument) accompanies the guests from the main entrance into the living room.
4. DANCING THE ARANG KADANG, ARANG DECUR AND ARANG DELAI DANCES
Arang Kadang is danced together in a long line in front of the guests. Arang Decur, a female solo dance, and the Arang Delai, a male solo dance are performed to entertain the guests. Then the guests are randomly picked to dance together according to the just performed dances.
5.SINGING THE SONG TUTU UDAN NA PERAH
This song is sung together by the ladies while pineapple juice is prepared in front of the guests. Normally a guest is served by a lady while holding a glass of the juice. Every guest is given this juice to be consumed till finished when the song ends.
6. INDULGING IN THE CUISINE
After the singing the guests are invited to indulge in the type of cuisine served according to their arrival time to the long house, either lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
7. PLAYING TRADITIONAL GAMES
While the guests are busy with their taste buds the hosts play traditional games like raut nekab tising (searching the ring), ngurad bigan (turning the plate), and upun aluh (jumping on bamboo).
In yesteryears these games are played as social interactions between the men and the women. Through the games they can interact closely.
8. PERFORMING THE MEKASUR
The host performs the mekasur when the guests are to leave the premises or to rest. The performers line up in a single long line from the living area to the main entrance of the long house.
Tingkat 5, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar,
Jalan Simpang Tiga, 93300 Kuching, Sarawak
Tel : 082-422006 / 082-423106
Fax : 082-244394