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Sabah : : Ethnic People
 
   Sabah is a unique land, a melting pot of many indigenous and immigrant groups. The population comprises over thirty-one different ethnic races and 80 over different languages or dialects. The beautiful thing is all these diverse ethnic groups live together harmoniously while at the same time preserving their own culture, traditions, festivals and customs. The indigenous group in Sabah include the Kadazan Dusun, Bajau, Murut, Rungu, Lotud, Brunei, Orang Sungai, Kadayan, Bisaya and many others sub-groups.
 
   The Chinese form the largest non-indigenous group. The largest single Chinese group in Sabah are Hakka(Kek), although Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, Hainanese, Henghua and other groups found. The Chinese have intermixed with the local population, mainly the Kadazan Dusun, often creating the confusing situation ethnically whereby a person with a Chinese name may not be Chinese. This may only be an indication of some Chinese ancestry. He may be Kadazan in appearance, culture and language.
 
   The largest ethnic group, the Kadazan Dusun make up about a third of the population are found mainly on the West Coast from Kudat to Sarawak border and in the interior areas of Ranau, Tambunan and Keningau. These are the prosperous agricultural rice producers of Sabah, although in recent times, many have found success in modern professions. They are well known for their unique customs that feature female priestesses called "bobohizan" presiding over still practised ancient rituals. They are many sub-groups, which include the Rungus, Lotuds, Tambanuos, Kimarangans, Sanayos, Minokoks, Orang Sungai, Kuijau and Tenggeras. The majority of the Kadazan Dusun people are Christians.
 
   The Bajaus, the second largest indigenous group are believed to have come to Sabah around the 18th and 19th centuries from the Southern Philipines. The Bajaus have often been called sea gypsies because they were fearless sailors. But nowadays they are the famous 'Cowboys of the East' as they are expert horsemen rearing ponies, buffaloes and cattle as well as being as rice farmers. On festive occasions, they will be riding brightly on decorated ponies.
 
   The Muruts, third largest indigenous group live mostly in the South West region of Sabah and remote parts of the interior residency between the town of Keningau, Tenom and Pensiangan. The Muruts were great hunters, using spears, blowpipes and poisoned darts and dogs; once feared for their head hunting. Some of the Murut tribes included the Nabai, Bokan, Tagal, Nabas and Timogun. Some Muruts still practice shifting cultivation, living in the more remote areas.
 
   Probably the most popular festival in Sabah is the 'Pesta Kaamatan'. This is a Harvest Festival of the Kadazans and Dusuns during the month of May, featuring traditional dances including one of the high priestess bobohizan in search of rice spirits in a trance.This is a ritualistic celebration greeting the successful harvesting of rice. Other celebrations include the Chinese New Year celebrated by the Chinese, and the Hari Raya celebrated by the Muslim community.
 
Tamu
   'Tamus' are a periodic local open trade fairs in rural towns. These are spontaneous hustle of marketing activities as natives gather to buy and sell or barter their farm produce, handicrafts, traditional ware, culture instruments and food items. To the local community, the 'Tamu' is more of a social event than a commercial one. It is indeed a colorful 'bazaar' that should not be missed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
tarap workz 1998-2005