Sabah Cultural Village – First Hand Experiences with Sabah’s Traditional Culture
If you want an immersive cultural learning experience, it is best to visit a Sabah cultural village. We’ve put this list together of some of the top cultural villages in Sabah. These cultural villages make it easy to a first hand experience of Sabah’s unique and diverse cultures.
Sabah is home to 32 recognized ethnic groups. Each one has their own culture and traditions, many of which are still practiced today.
1) Mari Mari Cultural Village
A visit to Mari Mari Cultural Village will bring travelers a chance to go back into prehistoric Borneo, where travelers can witness the traditional houses of Dusun, Rungus, Murut, Lundayeh, and Bajau, which were built similarly as the descendants of the tribes that they represented. Located about 25-30 minutes away from the Kota Kinabalu city, Mari Mari Cultural Village is surrounded by tall trees and the silence of the rainforest, which provides a tranquil surrounding for travelers to feel relax while exploring Mari Mari Cultural Village. Apart from that, travelers will get the authentic experience of learning the history and mystical belief systems of each of these tribes by an in-house guide. Anticipate on the exciting activities there such as blow-pipe making, henna tattoo, traditional delicacies preparation, Montoku (rice wine) processing, traditional performances and more.
2) Monsopiad Cultural Village
Face your fear on listening to the fearsome tales of head-hunting in Sabah Borneo when travelers make a visit to Monsopiad Cultural Village, which is a living museum that is located just about 25 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city. A visit to Monsopiad Cultural Village offers any travelers a glimpse of Kadazan (one of the major tribe group in Sabah Borneo) tradition and history. The museum is to dedicate the life of Monsopiad, the legendary warrior, and head-hunter for Kadazan people, as he became the villager’s protector when he successfully hunts down the robbers of the village and taking the robbers’ heads as trophies. One of the main highlights at the Monsopiad Cultural Village is the “House of Skulls”. Travelers will get to listen to the stories of Monsopiad’s battles and witness the 42 skulls collections exhibit there.
(Above): Soothing the sound of gongs played by local in Monsopiad Cultural Village. Photo by David Lim.
(Left): Monolith which invokes a dozen legends on Monsopiad. Photo by Steph_Pere
3) Borneo Cultural Village
4) Murut Cultural Centre
5) Linangkit Cultural Village
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