Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Dusun House - Dwelling for the Drinkers @ Mari Mari Cultural Village [Kota Kinabalu]

I think i have taken a wrong step by generating this post; it would have made better sense to come out with a general entry on Mari Mari Cultural Village before diving into the details!

Nevertheless, let us start with the first traditional house; that of the Dusun which represents the largest tribe in Sabah together with the Kadazan. 

Before we enter the dwelling, the village guide brought us to this elevated structure known as tangkob; a rice storage for the family. With a removable ladder, the elevation serves two purposes; preventing animals from raiding the food and keeps the rice dry from the occasional flooding.

We were encouraged to climb up and i had to check out what lies within the wooden container! Not rice by the way. 

Black magic would also be conjured to prevent stealing! As a warning, skulls would also be hung on the ceiling of the tangkob. The ones here were sadly fake and made in China. 

The whole village was marketed as a tourist attraction but you could not help feeling there was a natural realism to the purpose built structures! 

House of the Dusuns - one particular item commonly found within the house said a lot about their affection for it. The display of wine urns! Dusuns are said to be fantastic wine drinkers! 

Explaining the making of rice wine, the guide highlighted certain processes like the soaking of rice in water, pounding it and then adding honey or sugar for sweetness or tobacco juice for bitterness etc.

Sampling the tribal delicacies would be part and parcel of this visit; feel free to gulp down the rice wine using the traditional bamboo vessel.

How do you identify a single Dusun lady? By the clothing of course - sleeveless attire equates to single hood! In the words of the guide, sexy = single.

Smoking the food using the ancient tribal way. 

A look at the rather empty house - as you could see from the photos, the whole structure was essentially made of bamboo except for the ironwood support beams. The room, accessible by a separate ladder, was the bedroom for the single ladies in the family. 

Stepping out of the house where another surprise awaited us.

How to make bamboo food! There was loads of knowledge sharing - using a thin bamboo would make it easier to cook the food, putting in a leaf to prevent sticking of ingredients etc.

Grilled the bamboo for about ten to fifteen minutes and the food would be ready to enter their stomach. I gave it a try and thought it tasted more like salad without much difference.

Want to guess what this was for? 

The large urn at the side was yet again for wine! As mentioned previously, the Dusuns love to drink and this process was used to purify the wine and make it stronger!

It's distillation! 

As part of their hospitality, we were offered to give it a try too! Damn, i am actually a weak alcohol drinker and to down two small cups so early in the morning was honestly unheard of! 


Dusun House,
Kota Kinabalu (Sabah),
Borneo Island.

To read more, kindly refer to the main posting on Mari Mari Cultural Village.

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

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