[Update: According to Elsa, whom I assume has more information about the troupe than me, “Thumbuakar”, is coined by its choreographer back in 2005, meaning “growing roots”. “Akar” is of course “root”. I guess the words comes from the word “tumbuh akar” which mean “growing roots”)

Original entry, with some changes in the paragraph about Thumbuakar:

Singapore’s Night Safari has suspended the crowd pleaser, fire-eating tribal dance performance by a group called the Thumbuakar Tribe comprising dancers from Borneo.

The reason? Ten of the group’s members were suspected to be involved in drugs.

A notice at the Night Safari website says that the show has been suspended until further notice “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

In the meantime, what tribe?

According to Singapore’s The Electric New Paper, the Thumbuakar Tribe group was introduced four years ago to add a cultural dimension to the Night Safari experience.

“It is marketed as tribal dancers hailing from the rainforests of Borneo,” it added. Hmm… as far as I know, there are no fire-eating tribes in Borneo.

Anyone knows the meaning of Thumbuakar?

Well, it is actually seems to be the “Westernised and glamourised” spelling of the humble word “tombuakar”, which is also spelled as “tambuakar”, the name of Sabah’s very own swamp ghost.

Fire and ice

I guess, after eating fire, some of the ghosts decided that they needed “ice” to cool down.

According to newsreports, three members of the tribe who were returning from Malaysia’s southernmost city of Johor Baharu, were arrested in a routine check at the Woodland Checkpoints on Sunday.

Narcotics team found in them 50g of “Ice”, 50g of compressed cannabis and 10g of ketamine.

Their arrests led to the arrests of seven other members of the group as well as three Singaporeans.

Troupe leader Rudolph Mindot said he was disappointed with the incident. “This should not have happened. They have put my innocent colleagues through a very difficult time.”

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2 Responses to “Fire-eating Thumbuakar Tribe No More… Singapore Night Safari Suspends Tribal Dance Performance”

  1. Elsa Says:

    No… Thumbuakar is not a westernized version of a local sabahan word, although you may be correct. It is actually a dialect word coined by its choreographer back in 2005 to mean ‘growing roots’. It was to reflect the idea that they as a newly formed troupe would set their roots here in Singapore and grow to be a great fire performing group.

    Actually… your report is quite inaccurate… =)

  2. Jaxon S Says:

    Ok, if that is the case, I hope the roots can regrow, and back performing on stage… cheers!

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