Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip

Our Sabah trip continues to the Mari Mari Cultural Village after feeling upside down at Rumah Terbalik (Upside Down House).  Mari Mari Cultural Village is about 25 minutes of driving from Kota Kinabalu city. The village is a big area in the jungle which aims to share the tradition of Sabah to the local people and the tourists. You can experience the lifestyle and culture of the indigenous ethnic groups of Sabah.  There are 5 different tribes which are Kadazan-Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau and Murut.  “Mari” means “come” in English, so lets come come and experience the culture of Sabah tribes.

Before that, let’s watch a video of fire making by the tribes using bamboo.  According to the guide, a girl cannot get married until she knows how to make fire using the method in the video.  I guess fire is very important for cooking food and also for the heat during a cold day.


Welcome to Mari Mari Cultural Village.  You can see the it is in a tropical jungle and there are many tall trees.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Our guide explaining about Mari Mari Cultural Village and show us the map in case we get lost.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Walking on the hanging bridge into the Mari Mari Cultural Village.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Do you see the human skull?  Murut ethnic is well known for headhunting and they will hang up the skull for display.  But do not worry as according to our guide, those are Made In China.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Our guide with his traditional cloth explaining non-stop about the tribes of Sabah.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Inside one of the tribe’s house.  This is their kitchen area with the cooking utensils.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Laupoh choosing some ingredients to be cooked in a bamboo later

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Mix up all the ingredients of chili, onion, garlic and some unknown stuff before cook inside the bamboo.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The ingredients in the bamboo is then cooked on top of fire.  Barbecue bamboo anyone?

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
You will also get to taste the local rice wine, which are quite strong and nice in taste for me.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
One of the long house of the tribes.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Another traditional house of the tribes.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
This crocodile shaped place is for drying up the skulls from the headhunters.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
According to our guide, the roof of this house can be opened easily.  It can functions as a secret place to launch attack against invading enemies and also as a natural air-conditioner.  Besides that, the guys can also use the heavy roof to build their muscles.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Some beautiful handicraft made from ratttan, bamboo and wood.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
This vase is a container for the bones of a villager’s head who passed away.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The stairs to the Bajau house.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
We stop by at the pandan juice stall to try traditionally prepared pandan juice.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The boss pouring the hot pandan juice for us to try.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Our guide posing with the pandan juice’s boss.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The old kettle used to cook the pandan juice.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Inside the Bajau house.  This is the seat for bride and bridegroom during a wedding.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Some gong for the music.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Bajau’s house cooking utensils with fresh vegetables.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
A handmade colorful hat

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Laupoh preparing dinner.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
In one of the village, a grandma covered with dark cloth waiting to greet us.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Before you enter the village, the village head will ask some questions.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The village grandma will use a broom to welcome you.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
This guy with a long sword will jump out of nowhere and try to scare you.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Our guide explaining the sumpit (blowgun), a weapon used by the tribes for hunting animals and humans.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
We all get the chance to try the sumpit (blowgun) to hit a target.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The Murut house.  The Murut is well-known for their headhunters.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Some decoration on the ceiling in the long house.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Everyone also get a chance to be tattooed.  The tattoo will last for 3-5 days or longer if you do not take bath.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
A hibiscus (bunga raya) tattoo.  Becareful after the tattoo is drawn as it takes time to dry up.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The tattoo making corner.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
The shield of the tribes for the war.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
Spotted this big spider.  Watch where you are heading.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
After visiting all the tribes’ houses, there is a traditional dance performance.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
After the performance, there is teatime buffet.  Food included are rice vermicelli, fried chicken, barbecued banana and potato.

Visiting Mari Mari Cultural Village during Sabah Trip
They will also serve you the bamboo cooking that you have chosen.

Is it worth to visit this Mari Mari Cultural Village?  Yes, it is, for the experience and knowledge of the tribes in Sabah.  The tour guide is very knowledgeable as well and the performance show is amazing.  And you will also go back with a nice tattoo.

Mari Mari Cultural Village
Websitehttp://marimariculturalvillage.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/marimariculturalvillage

 

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