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The Lotud tribe that lives mostly in Tuaran district has various arts and cultures that are still practiced. Among them are traditional dances, traditional costume and ritual. They are famous for the dance of appeasing the spirit entitled sumayau or mongigol, performed during the rumaha (appeasing the skull) ceremony and magahau (appeasing the spirit of jars) ceremony.

Their traditional costume is believed to originate from kinohoringan(God) attire while for the ladies is called umunsumundu. This is depicted in the lyrics of rinait molukas (incantation) as commendations for the attire when moving to a new house, adapted visually.


There are five levels in a marriage ceremony and they are suruhan (enquiring), monunui (engagement), popiodop (staying overnight), matod (getting married) and mirapou (the custom).


A representative from the man family who is an expert in customs, called suruhan, functions mainly as a middleman to the girl family to fix the suitable time to enquire and discuss. He visits the girlhouse for the job. During the enquiring the girl family wants to know about the man background like his ancestry, behaviour, and ability to interprete dreams in the girl family. If the dream is bad then sogit mimpi (a fine for the dream) is imposed as a means of peace and harmony. According to custom, if the man family has no middleman then they can be imposed of adat malu (a fine for avoiding the custom) by the girlfamily. 


The monunui (to be engaged) custom is to be held by fixing the date before hand if the enquiring is successful and both parties agree on the fixed terms. Normally, this custom is implemented on the 14th day of a month cycle, called tawang kopiah, or on the 15th day called tolokud. This custom can only be held in the morning and the man family must leave the girl house before 4 p.m. A gold ring is given to the girl to signify engagement of which the duration is normally a year.

During the engagement ceremony the village head and middleman sit on the front line. The future bride is not allowed to leave the house while the future groom is forbidden to be around the house until the ceremony ends. The main items discussed are tinunui (marriage dowry), expenses for reception, engagement dowry and sogit (fine).


The marriage dowry and reception expenses are part of the main elements in a wedding ceremonial function, and these are discussed together by the village head and both the man and girl side. The cuisine for this discussion is normally a simple one with a number of tobacco leaves and dried tobacco to be made into cigars.

The marriage dowry requested by the girl family is RM1,000, reception expenses estimated as RM5,000 and above and a caribou. It is compulsory to give pinolusadan do aluwid (land dowry) together with paid quit rent. This dowry is for building a house when the couple has children. If the groom does not own a land then a dowry of four binukul (valuable antiques) valued at RM1,000, called the dowry custom, is deemed as fulfilling the requirement.

Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, Sabah

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88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
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