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The land below the wind, Sabah is an enticing destination filled with lavishing culture. This is not limited to the deep culture of the ethnic groups of the land of Borneo. Located towards the north-west on the coastal shores of Borneo resides the Kadazan people of Penampang.

Known to be one of the largest denominations of the ethnic group. This costume possesses a sense of sentimental value passed down through the generations and a display of wealth which can be portrayed through the “Tangkong” (hip belt) and “Himpogot” (silver coin). Such rich ancestral culture gives the wearer a sense of strong stature and pride with a graceful aura. People of the district are known for their natural friendliness and beauty, creating an alluring aura for those indulging an experience the culture.

The gift is a humble and gracious momento from the people of Sabah, filled with mesmerizing adventure and beauty. ENrich in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo- enthralling momentos of cultural magnificence.




Origins of the term ‘Kadazan’

While it is widely believed that the term itself was a political derivative that came into existence in the late 1950s to early 1960s, no proper historical record exists pertaining to the origins of the term or its originator. However, an article by Richard Tunggolou may shed some light. According to Tunggolou, most of the explanations of the meanings and origins of the word ‘Kadazan’ assumed that the word was of recent origin, specifically in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Tunggolou further claimed that some people have theorised that the term originates from the word ‘kakadazan’ (towns) or ‘kedai’ (shops), and from the claim that Kadazan politicians such as the late Datuk Peter J. Mojuntin coined the term.

However, there is evidence to suggest that the term has been used long before the 1950s. Owen Rutter, in his book, The Pagans Of North Borneo, published in 1929, wrote: “The Dusun usually describes himself generically as a tulun tindal (landsman) or, on the West Coast, particularly at Papar, as a Kadazan.” (page 31). Rutter worked in Sabah for five years as District Officer in all five residencies and left Sabah with the onset of the First World War. This meant that he started working in Sabah (then North Borneo) in 1910 and left in 1915. We can therefore safely say that the word ‘Kadazan’ was already in existence before any towns or shops were built in the Penampang district and that Kadazan politicians did not invent the word in the late fifties and early sixties. The Bobolians or the Bobohizans of Borneo were interviewed to seek better picture of the true meaning of the term ‘Kadazan. According to a Lotud Bobolian, Bobolian Odun Badin, the term ‘Kadazan’ means ‘the people of the land’. A Bobohizan from Penampang, Gundohing Dousia Moujing, gave a similar meaning of Kadazan and reiterated that the term has always been used to describe the real people of the Land. It is assumable that ‘Kadazan’ precisely means ‘people that live on flat land’.

Thus, it is now believed that the word ‘Kadazan’ was arguably not derived from the word ‘kedai’ (shop), or ‘kadai’ as pronounced by locals. Over a hundred years, the Kadazans were ruled by the Brunei Sultanate; the Kadazan or Kadayan (in Lotud, Kimaragang, Liwan etc.) were referred to officially by the Sultanate as the ‘Orang Dusun’ which literally means ‘people of the orchard’ in the Malays language. Administratively, the Kadazans were called ‘Orang Dusun’ by the Sultanate (or more specifically the tax-collector) but in reality the ‘Orang Dusun’ were Kadazans. An account of this fact was written by the first census made by the North Borneo Company in Sabah, 1881. Administratively, all Kadazans were categorized as Dusuns. Only through the establishment of the KCA (Kadazan Cultural Association) in 1960 was this terminology corrected and replaced by ‘Kadazan’. When Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, administratively all Dusuns born since were referred to as Kadazans.

Initially, there were no conflicts with regard to ‘Kadazan’ as the identity of the ‘Orang Dusun’ between 1963 and 1984. In 1985, through the KDCA (formally called KCA) the term Dusun was reintroduced after much pressure from various parties desiring a division between the Kadazan and the ‘Orang Dusun’ once again. This was largely successful and a precursor to the fall of the ruling political state party Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). PBS, through the KCA, then coined the new term ‘Kadazandusun’ to represent both the ‘Orang Dusun’ and ‘Kadazan’. Today, both Singapore and Malaysia acknowledge the ethnic group as Kadazandusun


PENAMPANG (the place)

Penampang (Malay: Pekan Penampang) is the capital of the Penampang District in the West Coast Division of Sabah, Malaysia. Its population was estimated to be around 93,616 in 2010, with ethnic Kadazan as the majority. The town has virtually become a suburb of Kota Kinabalu and considered as part of Greater Kota Kinabalu area.

Penampang strives as one of the major industrial and commercial centres within the greater Kota Kinabalu area. Many retail stores are found scattered in the district primarily in the Donggongon area, anywhere along Penampang Lama Road and Penampang-KK Bypass Road. The Mega Long Mall is a shopping centre situated in Donggongon with many retail shops such as Giant Hypermarket, cinema, restaurants and many others. A second shopping centre is currently under construction at the Penampang-KK Bypass Road which would consist of a hotel, office space, shopping mall and a multi-purpose commercial centre.




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