KOTA KINABALU, Mar 13, 2014: The humongous hair bun (tinimbuku) commonly sported by contestants of the Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant during the Harvest Festival only became popular in the mid 1980s and hence was merely just part of fashion and not a tradition of the Kadazandusun.
As a matter of fact, the first Unduk Ngadau who was crowned in 1960, Yong Mee Lan, did not even wear her hair in a bun when she won, said the chairperson of the Unduk Ngadau, Joanna Kitingan.
“In fact, she had short hair,” she said.
And subsequent beauty queens to be crowned after Yong also did not wear their hair in large buns.
“The large ‘tinimbuku’ began becoming popular in the mid ’80s. One of the contestants who might have won might have started this fashion of wearing large ‘tinimbukus’ among the Unduk Ngadau contestants,” she explained.
Joanna also went on to correct earlier reports on the issue of the ‘tinimbuku’, saying she was never against Unduk Ngadau wearing their hair in a bun.
“What I said was they should opt for smaller hair buns. As it is, our Unduk Ngadau contestants are wearing their hair in buns that are getting bigger and bigger. Many have negatively commented on this, including dignitaries,” she said.
She felt that it was time to phase out the large hair buns and urged the beauty contestants to opt for smaller and more elegant hair buns in the upcoming pageant.
“It was fashion before, but it is out of style now,” she commented.
Joanna also said most of the time, the Unduk Ngadau contestants did not even have a say on the type of hairstyles they would be wearing during the competition.
“The hairstylists make this choice for them,” she said.
“Some of the contestants have lamented how uncomfortable it was to wear their hair like that. The excessive use of hair spray makes their scalp itch and many have told me that they cannot wait to wash it off,” she said.
Joanna then showed several photographs of previous Unduk Ngadau contestants during their moments of glory and with their hair styled in a large bun, as well as photographs of the same persons wearing their hair in smaller buns.
“They look prettier and younger when their hair is styled in smaller buns. Why make them look old with the large hair buns?”
She also reminded that the size of the Unduk Ngadau contestants’ hair buns would not be taken into account by the judges during the competition.
“For me, I look at the entire proportion, the attitude — whether she can interact easily with everyone and possess that team spirit. I also look at the presentation and personality… it is more important for them to know about the culture of the Kadazandusun, to know how to converse in their mother tongue instead of thinking about the size of their ‘tinimbuku’,” she said.
source: The Borneo Post
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