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.
Our guide explaining about Mari Mari Cultural Village and show us the map in case we get lost.
Walking on the hanging bridge into the Mari Mari Cultural Village.
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.
Our guide with his traditional cloth explaining non-stop about the tribes of Sabah.
Inside one of the tribe’s house. This is their kitchen area with the cooking utensils.
Laupoh choosing some ingredients to be cooked in a bamboo later
Mix up all the ingredients of chili, onion, garlic and some unknown stuff before cook inside the bamboo.
The ingredients in the bamboo is then cooked on top of fire. Barbecue bamboo anyone?
You will also get to taste the local rice wine, which are quite strong and nice in taste for me.
One of the long house of the tribes.
Another traditional house of the tribes.
This crocodile shaped place is for drying up the skulls from the headhunters.
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.
Some beautiful handicraft made from ratttan, bamboo and wood.
This vase is a container for the bones of a villager’s head who passed away.
The stairs to the Bajau house.
We stop by at the pandan juice stall to try traditionally prepared pandan juice.
The boss pouring the hot pandan juice for us to try.
Our guide posing with the pandan juice’s boss.
The old kettle used to cook the pandan juice.
Inside the Bajau house. This is the seat for bride and bridegroom during a wedding.
Some gong for the music.
Bajau’s house cooking utensils with fresh vegetables.
A handmade colorful hat
Laupoh preparing dinner.
In one of the village, a grandma covered with dark cloth waiting to greet us.
Before you enter the village, the village head will ask some questions.
The village grandma will use a broom to welcome you.
This guy with a long sword will jump out of nowhere and try to scare you.
Our guide explaining the sumpit (blowgun), a weapon used by the tribes for hunting animals and humans.
We all get the chance to try the sumpit (blowgun) to hit a target.
The Murut house. The Murut is well-known for their headhunters.
Some decoration on the ceiling in the long house.
Everyone also get a chance to be tattooed. The tattoo will last for 3-5 days or longer if you do not take bath.
A hibiscus (bunga raya) tattoo. Becareful after the tattoo is drawn as it takes time to dry up.
The tattoo making corner.
The shield of the tribes for the war.
Spotted this big spider. Watch where you are heading.
After visiting all the tribes’ houses, there is a traditional dance performance.
After the performance, there is teatime buffet. Food included are rice vermicelli, fried chicken, barbecued banana and potato.
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.