KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 — Singer, musician and artist Alena Murang premiered the music video for Put Burui in conjunction with the World’s Indigenous Peoples Day yesterday.

The track taken from Alena’s 2021 album titled Sky Songs, was produced by Joshua Maran with Niko Coyez on flute with the singer herself on the 'sape'.

No stranger to sharing the stories of her ancestors through 'sape’ music, she said she felt it was just perfect to release the music video on a day that acknowledges the contributions that indigenous people have made in the world.

“Indigenous people around the world still have a particularly close relationship with the natural environment and growing up learning the 'sape’ and our cultural art forms of Kelabit and Kenyah people, taught me about how much our rainforest, rivers, skies, gives us so much.

“It’s not only language, music and art we inherit, but we also inherit nature, and we need to look after it as an heirloom,” Alena said.

The Put Burui music video was filmed in Semadang, Sarawak and it is based on the traditional Kenyah song used for the women’s hornbill dance.

While the dance play a significant role in the music video, instead of using the traditional hornbill feathers, ferns were used instead of 'kirip' (dancing feathers) in an effort to raise attention to biodiversity conservation.

In line with environmental sustainability, most of Alena’s outfits in the MV are made from natural fibres such as the red 'pua kumbu' top by Sarawakian designer Edric Ong.

'Pua Kumbu' is an Iban handwoven textile made from natural fibres and natural dyes.

According to Alena’s stylist Styllar's Saerah Ridzuan, the look was mainly inspired by Mother Nature.

“The colour palette consists of earthy hues that are visually present - shades of brown similar to the man-made nest, and textured rocks and sand by the river.

“Raw and organic materials like hemp, bemban, dalai beads, and wood are palpable in the adornment of accessories and outfits worn by Alena and the dancers.

“Alena also dons two looks in white which represents pureness (of nature’s innocence) and the other in red as a symbol of nature’s ferocity for its survival, a colour that signifies strength and power,” she said.

The 'Put Burui' music video was filmed in Semadang, Sarawak and it is based on the traditional Kenyah song used for the women’s hornbill dance. -- Picture courtesy of Alena Murang.
The 'Put Burui' music video was filmed in Semadang, Sarawak and it is based on the traditional Kenyah song used for the women’s hornbill dance. -- Picture courtesy of Alena Murang.

The music video produced by a team of Sarawakian youths, was co-produced by Zass Puravida and Kanid Studio and is directed by first time director Daphne Charmain Thian.

“It was a huge learning curve and I had to improvise and solve problems on the spot. There was a point where I had to step away to think on how to solve an issue due to weather, it was challenging. Would I do it again? Definitely, yes.”

“I wanted to show Mother Nature in a way where we’re observing her like in a nature documentary.

“We’re the audience observing her, in her own realm. How she’s thriving without us on her own. She doesn’t need us but we need her,” Thian said.

Alena’s Put Burui music video is now available on YouTube.