Land Full Of Mystery
In this land, we can only find a few of very different
ethnic groups. The most common culture found in Sabah are
Sea Nomads, Keepers Of Skulls, People Who
Celebrate By Jumping On Trampolines and others. There are 32 different ethnic
groups can be found here. We Call them -The village people.
The Human Skulls were hang from a house on the outer areas of Kota Kinabalu
during the 17th century. This was taken by a famous headhunter , Monsopiad. They
are considered as powerful spiritual talismans and the villages in Monsopiad's
Village still treating them with great respect.
The indigenous ethnic groups exist in Sabah can be divided into 4 major
families : Paitanic & Bajau , Kadazandusun , & Chinese. Immigration has added to
this already complex cultural mix, woth people from Philipines , Indonesia &
China over the last 2 centuries.
Kadazans and Dusuns are an ethnic group indigenous the state of Sabah in
Malaysia. They are found mainly on
the west coast of Sabah, the surrounding locales, and various locations in the
interior. Due to similarities in culture and language with the
Dusun ethnic group, and also because
of other political initiatives, a new unified term called "Kadazan-dusun"
was created. The Kadazandusun is considered as the largest indigenous group found in Sabah.
They live mostly in the interior & the west coast. Their ritual celebration
revolved around the rice cycle. The Kadazandusun celebrates the Harvest Festival
or Pesta Ka'amatan to appreciate to god for giving them resources. This
Celebration mostly celebrated at 30th May till 1st of June.
The largest indigenous group, the Kadazandusun
live primarily on the west coast and in the interior region. Traditionally
cultivators of rice, their ritual celebrations revolved around the rice cycle.
These rituals, including the most important event of the year, the Harvest
Festival or Pesta Ka'amatan, are presided over by priestesses, generally known
as bobohizan. These women conduct complex rituals complete with lengthy chants
in an archaic language, passed down by word of mouth over generations. Today,
many Kadazandusun (like Sabahˇ¦s other ethnic groups), can be found in all walks
of life as teachers, business people, doctors or office workers.
Others still follow their traditional lifestyle,
but the only Kadazandusun tribe which continues to live in communal dwellings or
longhouses is the Rungus, whose home is the northwest of Sabah. Most indigenous
groups are renowned for their skill in weaving baskets; the Rungus not only make
some of the finest baskery in the state but also weave fabrics, do intricate
beadwork and fashion metal gongs used in ceremonies. It is possible for visitors
to taste the traditional longhouse life in Bavanggazo, a small settlement south
Dusunic group, the Muslim Bisaya, live on the Klias Peninsula south of Kota
Kinabalu, and along the lower reaches of the Padas and Klias Rivers. The Bisaya
are best known for harvesting the sago palms which grow in swampy ground; they
fell the palms, rasp the pith of the trunk and extract the starch which was once
eaten as a staple.
Coincidentally, Dusun is the Malay word that
means "orchard" and is derived from "Orang Dusun" or "men of the orchards" as
their houses are surrounded with fruit trees. However, this Malay word is not
the origin of the Dusun name.
Murut are an
about 12 different sub-groups inhabiting northern inland regions
A large percentage of the Murut communities are in the southwest
specifically the districts of
along the Sapulut and
literal translation of murut is "hill people".The are renowned as
hunters and even today, it is rare to see a Murut on foot without several
hunting dogs in tow.Once longhouse dwellers, most Murut have adopted modern
housing, but they still retain one important element of the longhouse in the
village Balai Raya ( community hall): the lansaran, an ingenious wooden
trampoline that adds a
very special touch to Murut celebrations.
The Murut population in
is mainly found in the sparsely populated
district. They once supplied military might to the Sultans of
Brunei. Their population has dwindled in recent years.
They are defined as one of the seven indigenious groups that are
considered to be
The group is divided between
lowland (Timugon) and highland (Tagol) subgroups. They speak the
a branch of the
serves as their
Orang Sungai (Malay for River People) are a group of indigenous people native to
the state of Sabah, Malaysia. Groups of communities live along the rivers of
Kinabatangan, Paitan, Labuk and also Kudat.Live mainly along rivers and call themselves Orang Sungei (literally ˇ§people of the riverˇ¨). Another group belonging to the
same family is the Idaˇ¦an, who live along the east coast and converted to Islam
as far back as the 15th century. In the past, both the Orang Sungei and the
Idaˇ¦an practiced cave burials, and it is still possible to see the remains of
wooden coffins and burial urns in some of the caves and rocky overhangs along Sabah's east coast, including in the Danum Valley region.
Bajau, are an indigenous ethnic group the Philippines and in parts of Sabah,
Brunei and Sarawak. Although the majority of the Bajau live in the Philippines,
due to unrest in their native Sulu Archipelago, in the southern part of the
country, many Bajau had migrated to neighbouring Malaysia over the course of 40
years, where currently they are the second largest ethnic group in the state of
Sabah, making up 13.2% of the total population. They were sometimes referred to
as the Sea Gypsies, although the term has been used to encompass a number of
non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the
Samadilaut and Jama Mapun peoples of the Southern Philippines. The Bajau of
Indonesia live primarily on the islands and in the coastal districts of Sulawesi.
The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have
been associated with the development of sea trade in trepang.
The Bajau sailed across the Sulu Sea to settle along the coasts of Sabah. On the west, the
Bajau of Kota Belud are famous for their colourful costumes, and their skills as
horsemen. One can meet up with the Bajau on the weekly market, or Tamu at Kota
Belud, where they trade water buffaloes (essential for work in the irrigated
paddy fields), cattle and horses. The Bajau's skill as riders has led to their
nickname, Cowboys of the East. Another group of Bajau, who speak a
different dialect, settled on Sabahˇ¦s east coast, especially around Semporna.
These Bajau Laut or Sea Gypsies were persuaded to adopt a more sedentary
lifestyle only recently. Traditionally, they live on the lipa-lipa boats and
only come to the shore for water, fire wood and to bury their dead.
©2007 STTSS .All Rights Reserved.