Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Great Lotud

Salaam, all.

Not so long time ago, when I was still small,  whenever people ask about my ethnicity, my prime answer will always be "Dusun." Simple. That's it. A deep explanation about the word "Dusun" never came across my mind. My parents often took me to our village in Tuaran (Kampung Kauluan and Kampung Bundung). Ahh, if you are wondering about my blog's name, it came from the word Kampung Kauluan (my dad's place where we are living now). Of course, kampong  is a place where I love the most. After all, I was rarely pampered with toys, unlike children nowadays. So, budak kampong sajalah.

Each time visiting kampong, I would often hear the conversation among my relatives, grandma, grandpa, cousins ​​and other family members. They communicate in Dusun language. Dusun Lotud language, to be exact. I could not understand even a single word! However, as time goes by, I am able to communicate using the language, moderately. 

The thing I love the most about my ethnic is, of course, the traditional attire. Be it the original or modernized design. Dusun Lotud have numerous traditional heritage and  I really enjoyed  watching my people wearing our traditional costumes.

I may not be the ideal person to talk about this authentic attire (what more to make my blog as a source for reference purpose). But, I am doing my best to at least making you drop by and read the entire article (BIG smile!) Should there be any comments for improvement, do let me know ya. I am happy to receive any ideas from you.

So, let's talk.

Lotud people are one of the Dusunic groups of Sabah. Lotud women are skilled in producing the embroidered panel called linangkit which is used to decorate the knee-length skirt, circular sash and trousers of their traditional costumes.

Worn by the priestesses (tantagas) and other women during ceremonies, festive and social occasions.

Sukub kopio
Long-sleeved black cotton tailored blouse, with red tinobogi stitchwork at the seams. Tinobogi is a needle weaving technique of interlaced flanel stitches. A curvilinear motif of a bamboo shoot with sequins decorates the cuffs. The gold thread is "couched" onto the fabric. The sukub is closed with brooches of golden coins (tombuku).

Knee-length black cotton tube skirt. Around the hips is a strip of tinobogi stitch work and from the waist down a panel of linangkit needle work. The gonob is held up by a strip of white cloth (or haboi, kain). Sometimes, a batik sarong is worn over the short gonob to avoid exposure of the legs.

Circular sash of black fabric, silk or synthetic, with gold trimming along the edges. At the seam a wide band of linangkit. During lengthy sitting-down ceremonies, the women may sling the circular kuluwu around their back and bend their knees to make the crouched position less tiring.

Knee-length dark coloured skirt worn by the tantagas. Made from cotton, the cloth is very old, the material likely to have been imported a long time ago.


Wide girdle of interconnected loops of split rattan, worn around the hips. The colour of the rattan signifies the status of the wearer, i.e., red for childless women, red and black for mothers.

A white cotton strip with a chain of small silver coins (loti) running over the middle of the lilimbo.

Silver dollar belt. Lotud women wear only one botungkat.

Silver belt with a diamond-shaped clasp made by the Brunei.

Headband with red rattan rims. The narrow band is decorated with rectangular or square plates of embossed gold leaf or modern substitute. The hair bun hangs over the sigar.

Ornament for the head which is stuck into the hair bun  It consists of four bunches of red cloth and black cock feathers. Nowadays gathered in badminton shuttles. Strings of silver-green beads with bits of red cloth dangle over the forehead from the first bunch, and downward from the last one. The silver-green beads are a modern substitute for the iridescent wings of beetles that were used in the old days. It is worn during ceremonies.

Stiff ornamental collar of red cotton with embossed gold or silver plate shaped as leaves, made by the Brunei.

Upper arm bracelet of hollow embossed silver.

Hollow embossed silver anklets. In the old days, the lansung were of solid brass made by the Rungus ethnic.

A necklace made of mostly long barrel beads of glass, shell and carnelian. In between these are hollow silver beads and concave ornaments over a wooden base. Usually two or three karo are worn together. The cone-shaped ornaments are arranged symmetrically with the points downwards.

Big karo: set of two necklaces worn crossed over the chest.

A set of approximately 12 brass slit bells used by the Tantagas (female ritual specialists) during ceremonies.

A praying device made of turtle bone, used by the Tantagas during ceremonies.

Long sash draped over one shoulder to the front and over the next shoulder falling to the back.

Necklace of small glass coloured beads. A few are normally worn by the tantagas.

Used in ritual ceremonies by the Tantagas, it is a small pottery jar [usually of the Ching period (1645-1911)] with a cloth-covered rattan handle, containing ritual plants and animal bones. The container is looped over the lower part of the arm. Decorative beads adorn the jar.


Black cotton shirt with similar decoration as the women's blouse.

Trousers with a square piece of linangkit at the backside just under the waist. Older trousers have a very wide waist band.

Kain dastar headdress, folded in different ways. When two points stick out, the wearer has two wives and so on. Kain dastar headdress, folded in different ways. When two points stick out, the wearer has two wives and so on.

A silver chain with an attached round silver tobacco container, worn around the waist.

Source : An Introduction To The Traditional Costumes of Sabah edited by Rita Lasimbang & Stella Moo-Tan, Published by Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd in association with Department of Sabah Musuem, 1997

Below are the pictures I have taken in various occasions. From Unduk Ngadau, Harvest Festival to my brother's wedding reception. Some of the images were obtained from Mystical Suang Lotud in Borneo, Malaysia. 
Picture above: Young ladies of Dusun Lotud ethnic, Tuaran, Sabah, Malaysia. 

Picture above: Linangkit - a traditional form of embroidery made by several native tribes in Sabah, most notably the Dusun Lotud of Tuaran. 
Picture above: Traditional priestesses and ritual specialists, or tantagas, are nearly always women, and are skilled in memorizing the rinait, the long ritual chants and prayers that are addressed to the Lotud deities. As among other Dusunic peoples, rinait  constitute a unique genre of poetic oral literature. They consist of series of biambic lines--the first in the everyday language, the second (having the same meaning) in the ritual language. They tell of the Creation of the World, the exploits of the deities, the origins of rice, prescriptions for moral living, ritual practices and other aspects of cultural life. Recitation of rinait may involve loud chanting or soft whispering, and can last for hours or days, according to the context and occasion. 

The tantagas constitute a female hierarchy, with the most elderly who are grandmothers having the greatest spiritual knowledge and power. Younger women learn the rinait and the rituals from older tantagas (the novice is called tantagas wagu), while the most senior one is known as tantagas lawid.

In addition to her personal name, each tantagas has a ritual name which is the name of her first grandchild prefaced with the title Odun (Grandmother). 

Click HERE to read more.
Men's traditional attire. 

Picture above: Siwot Ornament for the head which is stuck into the hair bun  It consists of four bunches of red cloth and black cock feathers. Nowadays gathered in badminton shuttles. Strings of silver-green beads with bits of red cloth dangle over the forehead from the first bunch, and downward from the last one. The silver-green beads are a modern substitute for the iridescent wings of beetles that were used in the old days. It is worn during ceremonies.

The popular dance of the lotud is the sumayau (also known mongigol tuaran)its ritual dance performance during magavau rituals.

 2013 Johor State Level Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan KDCA

2013 Johor State Level Unduk Ngadau KDM

2013 Photoshoot in Kuching, Sarawak

2013 Photoshoot at Linangkit Cultural Village, Kampong Selupoh, Tuaran

2013 Klang Valley Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan
Modernized/contemporary (left) and original design (right)

Male and female wearing sukub kopio. The Dusun Lotud are one of sub group kadazandusun,the lotud, who live mainly at tuaran district, are among a traditional rice produser of Sabah.

Pictures below: My brother's wedding reception 
(Stefen Sebol and Yoko Charles Andau)



You look great mommy!

 My first attempt wearing men's traditional attire. Not bad, huh? 

Video showing Tantagas performing Mamahui Pogun. Check it out!
Thank you for visiting. 
Palad-palad ku jumoyu nantanan gi.

Much love.


Anonymous said...

Waaa...sy suka tu yg baju asli dusun lotud..yang ada bulu-bulu ayam di kepal. Patutlah, itu baju bobolian pula yg pakai. Ada ummph oh!! Kalau tidak silap, penampang punya bobohizan pun ada pakai 'headgear' di kepala diorang. Tapi kenapa tu unduk-unduk yg pakai baju kadazan tidak pakai headgear ah.. Tapi, apa-apa pun, peliharalah kebudayaan kita...jangan sampai pupus. Pendek kata, bercakaplah bahasa kadazan dusun murut selalu..hehe

Anonymous said...

Terima kasih di atas komen anda.

Sy kurang pasti tentang pemakaian "headgear" sebagai pelengkap baju tradisi kaum Kadazan di kalangan pesert Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan. Kebiasaanya, rambut para peserta akan didandan menjadi bentuk "gong" kerana ia merupakan alat muzik popular/utama di negeri Sabah (terutamanya di kalangan masyarakat kaum Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Bajau, Rungus dan pelbagai lagi).

Peliharalah identiti kaum kita agar tidak pupus ditelan zaman.


Aku Penghibur said...

cantik la gamabr di atas... tertarik nak tahu tentang kebudayaan ini... wahh best kalau dapat pergi serawak

Mrsabby@Abd.hafidz said...

bah kasi update blog kita gia....cam lom lengkap pula niii....ada sedikit gantung hihihhi...saya ta dapat balik bah di sabah ni tada cuti niii susah mau dapat maklumat nuuuuu........
** mod cerewet ula da*

Anonymous said...

Saudara Aku Penghibur, untuk pengetahuan, kesemua gambar di atas adalah terdiri daripada kaum Dusun Lotud yang terdapat di negeri Sabah. Setiap tahun, pada 30 dan 31 Mei, masyarakat Sabah amnya dan kaum Kadazandusun/Murut/Rungus khususnya akan menyambut Perayan Pesta Kaamatan. Semoga kamu akan berpeluang berkunjung ke negeri Sabah pada suatu masa nanti :)

Anonymous said...

Mrsabby@Abd.hafidz, terima kasih di atas komen dan cadangan tersebut. Dari semasa ke semasa saya akan perbaiki isi kandungan dalam blog/post ini. Kalau kamu di sekitar Johor Bharu, boleh berkunjung ke stadium tertutup pada 1hb Jun ini. Ada perayaan Tadau Kaamatan peringkat negeri Johor.

S.K.A said...

teringin jugak nk pergi sbah..nak jalan2 kenal tempat dan melawat kawan..unik je sy tengok :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks S.K.S. Suatu hari nanti, why not, kan? :)