Monday, March 14, 2011

Maranjak Homestay - Bavangazo Rungus Longhouse in Kudat, Sabah


Hola hola superhola!!! Hahaha.. How you doin? I am good...  Anyway, as you can tell I am really bad with introduction, so let's cut the blahs and let me tell you about the Maranjak Homestay. Maranjak Homestay is probably the world's longest house, okay I'm exaggerating but it's really long. Originally, it was a long house of the Rungus tribe at the Bavanggazo Village. Nowadays, it's a homestay open for public who would like to experience a unique lifestyle. You can stop by and visit without staying if you want to, just pay the fee entrance that will be use for the long house maintenance.

As you can see from the picture, there's a watchtower at the entrance. I imagine in the past, the men would take turn to guard the entrance from enemies. Unfortunately I was only able to take a few pictures of the long house exterior due to heavy rain :(


As soon as we enter, we can see a few women selling handmade items.


Don't forget to register your name in the guest book =)


I love the long house, in the past 'one family' consist of as many as fifteen families would live together and hang outside their respective rooms. The wooden sticks sparsely fabricated along the veranda gives open air ventilation.


The roof is made of dried Nipah leaves, folded over a rod and stitched together to form shingles called atap. These shingles are used for roofing that can last up to five years.


Rain falling off the edge of the atap.


The walls are made from patches of tree skin. I just love the beauty of its architecture. There are not many long houses nowadays, and Maranjak is one of the last few.  Looking up close, I noticed there are some traditional items hanging on the wall for display. Looks like water bottle and a rock. I do not know the significant of the rock but the water bottle looks interesting? Is it handmade as well? I thought all Dusun people drink from the bamboo container?


Wait a minute, it says here bla blah blah Amsterdam! Sorry I can barely see what's written there except Amsterdam. Clearly this doesn't belong here... Perhaps a tourist as a gift left it behind?


Traditional music instrument, this two-string lute called the Timpalan.


Hmm... I don't know what this is, can someone tell me what this is? Please?



Inside one of the rooms, I asked Kak Liau and Famulan to pose for me. Heheheee... The room is provided with mattress and mosquito nets.


The only furniture inside the rooms. Looks like the previous visitor was having an instant noodle, hahaha.. Muslim visitor rest assured, the Maranjak Homestay provide halal food prepared by Muslim cook, so no need to worry and shy away eating your instant noodle soup in your room secretly. Hehehehe...


Very happy guests, Kak Liau and her son Faiz. Maranjak Homestay has 75 rooms available for rent at RM75 per room for foreigners and RM55 per room for locals. The longhouse is 818 feet long. Hmm... I wonder what Famulan is searching for? Perhaps the rorizan, which is used as a place to hide the most beautiful girl in the longhouse until she is wed. Thank God I wasn't born here during that era, I don't want to be trapped inside a room!!! Hahaha... =P


Very happy Famulan, found the rorizan?


After dinner, the women and men of the Maranjak long house will dress in their traditional wear to perform the mongigol samundai dance in this area.


Common music instrument of all the Dusun ethnic, the Gong.

I found a video of the Rungus traditional dance on Youtube uploaded by RadioRungus.


Here's another video I found on Youtube of a Rungus traditional song, it is not a ritual song but a song. I have heard the ritual song before and it's different.


Hopefully one day someone will translate this song.


Aiso and Charles chilling out at the veranda.


Irfan and Faiz relaxing on the hammock. I didn't inspect the jar but I think it's tapai (the local rice wine).


Fermented rice wine inside of a jar. I understood that there is a tapai session which the guest may participate in.



Well, look what I found. A commercialized local rice wine called Montoku. The process is different from making the tapai.


Kak Liau found something interesting.... "oooooh what's this?" she probably said while examining the thing hanging on the pillar. It's a traditional puzzle game of the Rungus tribe.


In the past it is custom for the Rungus tribe to test a future son in law with this puzzle. If the man (groom to be) is unable to solve the puzzle within the length of time the future father-in-law takes to smoke his sigup (a local cigarette which the tobacco is wrapped inside a young Nipah leaf); the proposal will be turned down. This puzzle was used to test the suitor's problem solving skills and capabilities in bringing up a family well. Kak Liau and the boys were trying to solve the puzzle but failed, lucky for us the friendly lady then shows us how to solve the puzzle :) 


Aiso checking out some of the handicrafts and souvenirs.


The handicrafts here are a lot cheaper than those you can get at the market. I bought quite a few and gifted a bracelet made of stone (don't remember the name) to Famulan.


Famulan looking at the sigar with full concentration, handmade by the women of Maranjak long house. See, she's wearing the bracelet I bought for her =)


Sigar is hand woven into a piece of cloth using kapok fibers (silk cotton) from the seed of the kapok tree or scientifically known as Ceiba pentandra. This cloth later will be folded into a headgear uses by the men.


My brother Aiso took a memorable photograph with the friendly lady, Mrs. Maranjak. The wife of the long house coordinator. Sadly Mr. Maranjak wasn't there that day so we didn't get the chance to meet him. By the way, to whom it may concern, Aiso was actually sitting behind her not beside her, as the picture seems to portray. Heheheee...



Goodbye Maranjak Homestay, it was a pleasant stay though only for a short while. I had fun  =)

2 comments:

Anonymous,  October 17, 2011 at 11:36 PM  

You are the man, you manage to capture fantastic pic there. For you knowledge, Rungus is larger tribe not like most people tell you. Their territory is from kudat, all the way to Kota Marudu, Pitas, and Beluran. You can recognize from the place name if you google map it. Kudat can be describe as Rungus Mother land and the only place you can enjoy Rungus Culture. I recommend visitor to try Tapai if they have this option, as it not as strong as montoku. Tapai also more preferred among Rungus. But, remember it's not halal for Muslim.

Anonymous,  October 17, 2011 at 11:51 PM  

There's more interest thing to discover about Rungus Culture actually, but these rungus people didn't seems interest to open wider their culture for the world to discover and enjoy it. I bet you never see their paddy hut where they use to store their paddy. Their observation tower to guard their paddy field from wild animal. I tell you, it look like Chinese Pagoda. Their vehicle which is attached to buffalo used to carry their large amount of stock and timber. Wish have a chance to capture the pic for that, should look classic.

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