Introduction to Mari Mari Cultural Village
Nowadays, people travel around the world to see the culture of a different country, to learn and experience various ways of life to gain knowledge and satisfaction. Through our cultural village, one can experience Sabah culture and tradition in half a day and experience the way of life in the olden days.
Mari Mari Cultural Village officially started operation in December 2008. This village is Sabah’s living museum which is located at Kionsom, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu Sabah which is only 30 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city. The cultural village offers glimpses into the lives of Sabah’s rich culture with its distinctive houses, costumes, and traditional skills of five major Sabah ethnic groups in Sabah, Malaysia.
You can learn and experience the authentic lifestyles of five different tribes in Sabah by visiting the traditional houses, trying their food and drinks, and learning their survival skills and you will also get the chance to watch their traditional dances.
Be prepared to travel back to the times of ancient Borneo through the display of unique ingenious architecture and get acquainted with each village tribe as you enter their homes and experience rich culture. With the introduction from your friendly excursion guide, this excursion will not only be mere sightseeing but will be an educational experience.
The 5 traditional houses in the village belong to the 5 major tribes in Sabah: The farmers and traders, Dusun and Rungus; the hunters and fisherman, Lundayeh, the cowboys and sea gypsies; Bajau and the famously feared Murut warrior.
The Dusun tribe is the first and largest tribe in Sabah, Malaysia and as farmers, rice has been an essential element in their culture and they believed in the spirit of paddy Bambarayon. With rice as their main product, they are skilled in making their own rice wine called Tapai and distilled wine called Montoku.
The Rungus tribe is the fourth largest tribe in Sabah and they live in a longhouse called Vinatang. This tribe is known for harvesting honey from stingless bees and their beading crafts called Pinakol. Their Pinakol is designed with colorful traditional motives.
The Lundayeh tribe shares a similar legend of origin with the Lundayeh community living in the Kerayan-Kelabit Highlands of East Kalimantan in Indonesia. Their burial tradition is rather different compared to the other 4 tribes. The deceased will be placed in an old and valuable Chinese jar and kept for one or two years. After two years, a feast will be done for the final ritual which is the permanent burial in the community’s burial ground.
The Bajau tribe originated from the islands of the Sulu Archipelago as well as parts of the coastal areas of Mindanao. Filipino Badjao has migrated to neighboring North Borneo (Sabah) and to this day, there are 2 types of Bajau: Land Bajau and Sea Bajau. Land Bajau is known as cowboys of the east, a fitting tribute to their equestrian skills whereas Sea Bajau is known as Sea Gypsies.
The Murut tribe is the third largest tribe in Sabah and they are one of the headhunters in Sabah that hunt the heads of their enemy in war to be brought back as a symbol of victory and strength. The human heads were used as a dowry to the Murut warrior’s future bride, showing their future in-laws that they are capable of protecting the daughter.