The Legends of Mount Kinabalu
“Once upon a time there was a giant living…at the foot of Mount Kinabalu.” – Ansow Gunsalam, 1983
A mountain so highly regarded by our ancestors as well as present time by the locals, Mount Kinabalu is known as Aki Nabalu, ‘the revered place of the dead’, Aki also means ‘grandfather and/or male ancestors’ in KadazanDusun dialect. Before the spread of Christianity, a majority of indigenous people here were pagans who practiced animism. They believed in spirits and invisible beings are it good or evil spirits. It was believed (then) that the summit of Mount Kinabalu was the highest point in Borneo, which is why spirits would go there to enter the afterlife.
Before climbing up the treacherous mountain (during those days), locals would perform religious ceremony upon reaching the summit. These rituals were to pacify these roaming spirits who lived there in order not to harm them and giving them safe passage. Nowadays, these ceremonies are conducted annually by the National Park guides. Part of the ritual is to offer seven chickens, eggs, betel nuts, sirih leaves, lime, rice, as well as local cigars.
Locals say that St. John’s Peak is the stone her body was turned into.
So what do you think? Do you like it? I love it! This heart-wrenching tale will forever be in my heart and for many generations to come, while Mount Kinabalu will forever stand high and mighty in Borneo Island. Here are some pictures for you to see the beauty of Mount Kinabalu area. If you are interested in climbing Mount Kinabalu, contact us now for more information.
Looking for an alternative trekking than Mount Kinabalu?
Want new articles before they get published?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.