Alena Murang

About Artist


Born of the Dayak Kelabit people of Borneo, Alena Murang's work of art is a dedication to her heritage presented in contemporary form. Breaking the tradition, Murang picked the traditional instrument Sape' which was traditionally reserved for men and has fought for its continuity and relevance through her music until she rose as the first professional female Sape' musician in Malaysia and Borneo.

Murang's cause is not limited to the instrument. She also champions for the survival of endangered languages including the Kelabit and Kenyah languages. Through her two albums, Flight (2016) and Sky Songs (2021) which she produced together with her band, Murang, who is a songstress and songwriter, sings in both languages.

Inspired by the serenity of Kelabit Highlands and passed down wisdom from the elders, Murang's efforts keep drawing attention and garnering awards and recognitions internationally. Once a youth representative for UNESCO forums on intangible cultural heritage, Murang is the vessel which carries the knowledge from the past, as a line in her song Gitu'an goes – “taun pupuh lun merar ma'on” (we are our ancestors).

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