Ilu Leto at Rainforest World Music Festival 2017

During the just-concluded Rainforest World Music Festival 2017, all the performances were awesome and very entertaining. We definitely loved all of them but we have some favorites that we want to highlight. One band that caught our most attention was Sarawak very own Ilu Leto. It was their first time performing at RWMF as a band.

This band consist of 6 beautiful and very talented female Sape’ players. They came from various backgrounds and races but they have common talent that brought them together as a band. Ilu Leto consist of Alena Murang, Elizabeth Bungan Peter, Munirih Jabeni, Rosemary Colony, Nurul Syafiqah and Tasneem Bolhassan. They’re all natives of Sarawak, Borneo.

Only male can play Sape’ traditionally and female were ‘forbidden’ to play it. It was a taboo for them to even touch the Sape’. Nowadays, everyone can learn to play it regardless of gender and that is how this Ilu Leto was formed. They broke the ‘myth’ and pursue their dream of creating all female Sape’ band.

In Kenyah dialect from Sarawak, Ilu Leto means “We, the ladies”. Their performances were consist of songs, dance and musics from the Iban, Kelabit and Kenyah tribes.

During the RWMF 2017, they were performing an opening performance for the main concert of day one. They enchanted the audience with their unique, very melodic 6-piece Sape’ music and songs. Their awesome performance caught the attention of all the crowd that evening and when they sang together, it gave us some goosebumps. We bet other people in the crowd felt the same way too.

Alena Murang entertained festival goers during her first RWMF performance in 2016. She was one of the first female Sape’ players to openly perform and teach the Sape’. She learned to play Sape’ from Sarawak’s very own iconic Sape’ Master and the National Living Heritage, Mathew Ngau.

This year, she took things one level higher by performing with her band, Ilu Leto.

We hope to see Ilu Leto back next year in RWMF 2018. This band need a bigger exposure in the music scene. With their maiden performance during the RWMF 2017, hopefully they have gained a lot fans for their music. It will definitely help them to go further in the music scene, nationally and internationally.

To know more about them, go to their Facebook at

Show and give them some support!

3 Responses to Ilu Leto at Rainforest World Music Festival 2017

  1. […] our previous post we highlighted Sarawak’s very own Ilu Leto as one of our favorites in the last RWMF 2017. […]

  2. […] have highlighted two of our favorite performances for the 2017 Rainforest World Music Festival, Ilu Leto and At Adau. Here we want to highlight one more band that caught our attention the most during that […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: