Monday, September 29, 2008

Sabah Local Cultures (The Worlds -1st)

Hey friends, I found one interesting book (actually I bought it 2years ago..hahhaha) with a title 'Comparisons: Sabah Local Cultures & The Bible' which to me good for us to know our own culture and studied it through. This book tells us about Sabah cultures through the eyes of our ancestors. Good for us to know.
Information about local traditional beliefs and practices can lead a person to ponder about the reasons for such cultural habits and to compare and contrast them with the traditional culture of peopless in other parts of the world. Some striking similarities exist between some aspects of traditional culture in Sabah and some of the incidents narrated in the Bible. Sabah, the homeland of many indigenous racial groups, is rich in culture. Though many of the ancients rituals are falling into disuse, it is fortunate that knowledge of a wide variety of traditions is still preserved. I will not go through the comprisons between the Bible and the Sabah Local Cultures but I'll list out some of the beliefs or cultues habits of Sabahan..hehhehehe...
The Sky
We are told in Kadazandusun legend that after kinoingan had made rivers and seas, fish and animals, trees and plants, he perspired. He went to a pool to bathe and noticed that the dirt from his body increased rapidly and he decided to use it to form the sky. EEEwwwww...hehehehe. He completed it with to the size he felt suitable and put it in position over the earth then he arranged the sun, the moon and the stars. This caused dy and night. Murut people believed that if the sky became red, spirits of sickness were moving about in the atmosphere. They remained indoors to avoid contracting any illness that could be caused by such spirits. But I do remember when I was a child, everytime 'hujan panas' my mom will asked us not to go out by saying that 'banyak hantu berkeliaran' and the evil spirits will possess us and make u sick..emmm...think about it..
The Sun
There is legend in Sabah which states that long time ago the sun was much nearer to the earth and one day the man felt that the heat was too great for him to bear. So he took his bow and arrow and shot an arrow to the sun. So the sun moved away from the earth. It went so far away that never again could an arrow fired by man ever reach it. The arrow also disapeared. Wooikk..jangan2 the arrow become the ultraman the ultraman come from the sun kan? is it? hehehehehe. Local names for the sun are interesting. In Malay called 'matahari', Kadazandusun called 'tadau' to used for both day/sun and in Murut called 'Orou'.
The Moon
In the past when an eclipse of the moon occured people in Sabah believed that an enormous dragon was tryingnto swallow the moon. All the people would gather in the village and beat gongs and create a great din in order to frighten the dragon away.
The Stars
There is story told in Kuala Penyu area to explain the existence of two of the stars. A very young mother and her baby son lived alone in remote forest area. When the boy was about 8 years old, he wandered away and settled in a place far from his original home. He prospered and became a very handsome young man and then he decided to travel to the area he had come from. His mother was still an attractive woman. They happened to meet but did not recognize each other. They fell in love and married. Later in their conversations the young man told the wife the things that he remembered about his childhood days. From that stories the woman slowly realized that this was her son. Both were shocked and knew that incest was very serious crime. They decided to separate and never to see one another again. They agreed to become two stars, one before the night started and we called it Evening Star and the other one just when the night ended and we called it Morning Star. And ever since Evening Star and Morning Star are never seen together. Huhuuuuu...very sadis and weird hehehhe..I want to be a star to my love and called me the Life Star (bintang kehidupan)..hehehhe.
The Sea
Some of the opinions they have cannot be found in modern geography books..hehehhe. For eaxample, at the bottom of the sea live dragons and other such monsters, it is the movements and activities of these sea-monsters that cause the waves of the sea. Another idea from the past was that at night a lot of lights could be seen in the middle of the sea. This looked like the lights of a town, it was not a town but it was a sea-ghost that had huge body and possessed a large number of arms and hands. Emm..suddenly I remembered a legend of Nyi Roro Kidul Legend from Indonesia which appeared as a beautiful woman and seduced bad guys..hehehehe.
The World
According to Kadazandusun legend Suminindu, the wife of the Kinoingan took a bath and the dirth from her body seemed to multiply. Kinoingan told her to dance on it. As she did so the dirt increased more rapidly and spread out to form the land surface of the world. Later the kinoingan wanted to know which was more extensive the earth or the sky and he sent the large butterfly called Bimbizangan to find out. Bimbizangan told the kinoingan that the earth was bigger so kinoingan asked his wife Sumindu to stamp on the earth to make it smaller. She did and that caused the valleys, hills and mountains that we see today. Wahh..means the kinoingan family was soooooo biggggg....aarrrgghh.. Some Murut believed that there were 7 levels below this world and 7 levels above it. The Murut word for 'eight' is katalu and this world of ours is still known to some as Tana Timbalu and that is the eight levels. All the other levels are inhabited by people like us. Conditions in the levels above our world are generally better. The spirit of the deceased person can go downwards to the seventh level or upwards to the ninth level. If the spirit is going downwards it travels through a whirlpool in a river, if it moves upwards, it rides on whirlwind.
Well..I'll go with you to the 2nd Sabah Local Cultres in a next posts talking about animals, dreams, body, names and I have to read and understand it first. Hahhaha..interesting especially if you compared to the Bible..


  1. wahh ness...topic ni mcm nenek moyang sia cerita dulu ehehh....nice :)

  2. Iya bah Huguan. Dulu my late grandma selalu kasih cerita kami adik beradik. Asal balik kampung saja..mesti kami minta 'inah' (kami panggil nenek camtu)cerita2 pasal yg dulu..byk yg dia cerita sama dgn ini topik..hehehhe..skg dia sudah tiada..sya rindu sama dia..may her soul rest in peace..