Monday, June 15, 2015

Bajau House (Kuih Jala & Pandan Juice) @ Mari Mari Cultural Village [Borneo Island]

While most people were focused on the cultural aspects of the tour at Mari Mari Cultural Village, i think i am the only one wondering what's next to surprise my palate as we stepped into the territory of the third tribe in our journey; the Bajau!

I must admit the happiness can be immediately felt when my eyes caught sight of the swirling smoke and the nose caught a whiff of that delicious deep fried fragrance.

It's a cooking demonstration and knowing how noob i am when it comes to cooking, my objective was clear; i just wanted to have a bite of the finished product! 

Kuih Jala was a simple yet traditional snack in East Malaysia and you are supposed to fry till it is crispy brown. Fresh and hot from the boiling oil, it was an addictive biscuit similar to kueh rose! 

Beside Kuih Jala station was the juice section; note, not fruit juice but the juice of the pandan leaves! Judging from the broken leaves, i think what we drank might have likely come from the plants next to the path! 

Good for hangovers, pandan leave juice was incredibly easy to make; requiring only pandan leaves, crushed ginger and finally, sugar for sweetness! The only issue is that a traditional wood stove is recommended for better flavour.

Time to step into the Bajau House!

This man was just sitting down, surrounded with many coconuts. Was this a demonstration to chop open a coconut? Well, i don't really need to see that if that's the case.

No, he was seated on a log that had a tool sticking out; not exactly a nice picture if you ask me. Whatever the case, he was using that tool to manually scrap out the hardened coconut pulp!

Compared to the three tribal houses before Bajau, the first thing that hit me was the use of vibrant colours to adorn the otherwise boring, brown structure. 

Among the tribes in Borneo, Bajau is the second largest (first being Dusun) yet the people are the richest and have an utter love for colours! There are generally two types of Bajau; the land and the sea. What we see here is the house of the land Bajau; the sea Bajau sleeps on boats and has the ability to swim underwater for long period of time without any mechanical appliances!

A special setup depicting a traditional Bajau wedding and visitors are welcome to play out the roles! Remember the musical instruments on the second photo? It is the Kulintang which i chanced upon at Gaya Street Sunday Market!

Gigantic shells from horseshoe crabs - a typical land Bajau house is built on stilts not just to prevent water damage. According to the guide, the elevated house would allow horses to be kept beneath! Regretted not asking her to clarify further as i thought it was a weird concept; i would absolutely not want my horses to neigh at me when i am sleeping on the floor. 

Traditional game - as i was sieving through the photographs taken at this house, there was an item that frequently appeared on my pictures; the colourful straw hat. Anyone knows if there is any interesting significance? 

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Location


For the summarised itinerary of my 7 days, 6 nights Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) trip, please click here.

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