Manlilikha ng Bayan Samaon Sulaiman, master of the Maguindanaoan musical 2-string lute kutyapi, passed away yesterday May 22, 2011. He was born in 1957.
Samaon Sulaiman has achieved the highest level of excellence in the art of kutyapi playing. His extensive repertoire of dinaladay, linapu, minuna, binalig, and other forms and styles interpreted with refinement and sensitivity fully demonstrate and creative and expressive possibilities of his instrument.
Learning to play the kutyapi from his uncle when he was about 13 years old, he has since, at 35 become the most acclaimed kutyapi master and teacher of his instrument in Libutan and other barangays of Maganoy town, deeply influencing the other acknowledged experts in kutyapi in the area, such as Esmael Ahmad, Bitul Sulaiman, Nguda Latip, Ali Ahmad and Tukal Nanalon.
Aside from kutyapi, Samaon is also proficient in kulintang, agong (suspended bossed gong with wide rim), gandingan (bossed gong with narrow rim), palendag (lip-valley flute), and tambul.
Samaon is a popular barber in his community and serves as an Imam in the Libutan mosque.
For his exemplary artistry and dedication to his chosen instrument, for his unwavering commitment to the music of the kutyapi at a time when this instrument no longer exists in many parts of Mindanao, Samaon Sulaiman is worthy of emulation and the highest honors. – www.ncca.gov.ph