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The Tageh Sing Ritual of the Kensiw, Kedah, Malaysia


The religious tradition of the Malaysian Orang Asli is closely associated with ritual singing, dances and shamanistic seances during which curing ceremonies are performed. Geoffrey Benjamin first noted the regional differentiation in this traditional practice between the east and the west Orang Asli. In the west, among the Kensiw people of Kedah, however, another genre of religious practice that does not entail shamanistic seances has been common. Called tageh, it is accompanied with music produced by an instrument that appears to be unique in Malaysia. This note describes the features of tageh, based on my fieldwork in the early 1970s in a Kensiw settlement near Baling, Kedah.

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