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SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013

Mari Mari Cultural Village and Monsopiad Cultural Village, Sabah

Sabah is popular with its diverse ethnics and rich history. The Mari Mari Cultural Village and the Monsopiad Cultural Village are two of Sabah’s popular tourist spots in learning and finding out more about the culture and history of these ethnic groups in Sabah.

 

Together with MASWings, let us unfold the two cultural villages and see what do these two have in store for us.

Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated in a remote forest in Kionsom, Inanam. It is an ideal setting for a cultural village which preserves the environment of the tribes long ago. Situated 25 minutes away from the city and in a remote forest, you could enjoy only the sound of nature and the closeness of what the tribes feel years ago. Entering the village requires you to cross a hanging bridge to cross the river and get to the other side.

 

Upon entering the village, you will be introduced to a variety of ethnic tribes in Sabah such as the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun. You will also be shown their traditional homes and how each and every house has a different look and feel. Besides that, the different ethnics at the cultural village will even demonstrate their traditional way of cooking food in bamboo and the brewing of Montoku, known as rice wine which is the favorite drink of the Dusun tribe.

 

Other tribes present there will also demonstrate the different kind of skill sets such as the traditional way of lighting a fire by the Rungus tribe, the extracting of tree bark in order to make various items such as ropes, vest, floors, and walls by the Lundanyeh tribe, and also blowpipe making by the Murut tribe. There are many more demonstrations in the cultural village itself such as dances and musical performance. Besides that, they will even teach you how to cook or craft using their traditional way if you are interested in learning.

 

The Monsopiad Cultural Village on the other hand, is another cultural village worth going to. The Monsopiad Cultural Village is founded in 1996 making it Sabah’s first living museum. The cultural village is situated beside the Penampang River and is surrounded by many other traditional buildings. It takes about an hour and a half from Kota Kinabalu and if you are wondering where the name Monsopiad comes from, the name is taken from a fearsome warrior who lived in the village of Kuai long time ago.

The Monsopiad Cultural Village is a Kadazan cultural village allowing you to learn more about the Kadazan tribe. Upon arriving at the village, you will be treated to various Kadazan displays such as their ceramic jars, padi grinders and bamboo items. You will also be shown the costume of Bobohizan Inai Bianti, a direct descendent of Monsopiad. There are lots of other interesting things being shown at the cultural village alone such as a massive monolith holding a dozen legends, and also the House of Skulls, where you will be shown 42 skulls which are also trophies of war from Monsopiad.

 

There are a lot more to the cultural village and it will not be interesting if you don’t see it for yourself. Let MASWings Airline fly you to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and learn more about the various ethnics in Sabah.

Tags: Mari Mari Cultural Village | Borneo Sabah | Best Sabah Hotels | Monsopiad Cultural Village | MAswings | Kionsom | Inanam | Bajau | Lundayeh | Murut | Rungus | Dusun | Montoku | Kadazan | Bobohizan Inai Bianti |

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012

The vibrant Sabah Harvest Festival

If you are in Sabah during the beginning of May you will be able to enjoy the colourful Sabah Harvest Festival or Kaamatan that is celebrated by the Kadazandusun people of Sabah. This vibrant Sabah Harvest Festival will sure to dazzle you with its showcase of rich Kadazandusun cultural heritage.

The Kadazandusun of Sabah celebrates the Sabah Harvest Festival or Kaamatan annually to give thanks for the bountiful rice during the rice harvesting period. Kaamatan is the largest festival in Sabah and is celebrated statewide by the Kadazandusun people. The Kadazandusun has been celebrating this Sabah festival for several generations from the time when these people were collectively agrarian rice planters. During the harvest time the Kadazandusun community would work hand in hand gathering the rice stalks with special knives said to be able to appease the rice spirits.

 

This festival in Sabah begins on the first of May and reaches its climax by the end of May where there will be a lot of festivities and merrymaking. One important feature of this festival in Sabah is where the local Kadazandusun high priestess would conduct a ritual inviting Bambaazon, the rice spirit, to the festival. It is believed that this festival in Sabah will not be able to commence until this spirit is present. In the far-flung past, this ritual would be conducted under the first full moon in the rice field where there would be a procession through the field led by a warrior wielding his sword to ward off evil spirits.

 

Apart from seeing the traditional thanksgiving ritual, you will also be able to see various events such as cultural shows, exhibitions, traditional Kadazandusun games and buffalo races being held to celebrate this Sabah festival. Every year since 1960, this Sabah festival has been celebrated on a statewide scale where the Kadazandusun community would showcase their rich cultural heritage through traditional songs, dances, cultural shows, agricultural exhibitions, handicraft sales and of course. The local community would turn out fully decked in their colourful traditional attire. The special rice wine called tapai is served throughout the festival. You will be amazed at the various colourful activities being held during this Sabah festival.

 

This year’s Kaamatan was celebrated all month long with various events being held throughout Sabah. The beginning of the festival was marked with a colourful cultural show held in Kota Kinabalu JKKN complex that presents a rich blend of the state’s cultural heritage. Towards the end of May, there was a Kaamatan grand finale celebration held by the Kadazandusun Cultural Association in Penampang. This place was where all the main festivities were held towards the final two days in the month of May. If you are in Sabah for the next Kaamatan festival, do make sure you mark these important dates!

 

By the end of this wonderful Sabah festival, you are guaranteed to leave Sabah with lots of wonderful memories on the ever-vibrant and colourful Sabah Harvest Festival. Why don’t you take a trip to Sabah during the month of May and experience the sights, sounds and colours of the Kaamatan festival yourself?

Tags: sabah harvest festival | kaamatan | sabah festival | sabah festivities | festival in sabah | kaamatan festival | kadazandusun |