Kampung Sumangkap (The Gong Making Village) ~ Kudat : Sabah Borneo


It was a sunny morning and as we drove into a narrow dirt road we could hear a racket of metal smacking on metal. We parked and got out for a walk around. There were several


workshops along the way, which also doubled up as a shop. Already the masters and their trainees were hard at work. The dozen or so individual clanging of mallets on aluminum sheets were deafening. There are 2 ways of making the gong. One is to piece together separate flat sheets to form the shape of the gong. The other method, which is definitely more complicated, is to shape the gong from one large sheet of aluminum. This latter way requires skill, time and money. As for which creates a sweeter sound, only the maestros would be able to tell. According to Adrian, making gongs used to be a very private affair. In the old days, the gong maker would only work on his art when he was sure there were no outsiders to witness his craft. Otherwise, he would retreat deep into the jungle with his tools and materials to continue his work.


Entrance fee : RM3 is paid and collected for the cooperative that helps out the community. Visitors can also purchase ready made gongs of various sizes, even gong keychains for RM2 each.