Malaysia // Sabah //

Monsopiad Cultural Village

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Based around the tale of a legendary head-hunter, Monsopiad Cultural Village provides an introduction to the history and traditions of the Kadazan people. Tours are led by knowledgeable guides who take visitors to a hut where Monsopiad’s grisly harvest of 42 skulls is displayed, and then explain traditions such as the rituals practised by the bobohizan (priestess). Next comes the chance to taste lihing (rice wine) and test your accuracy with a blowpipe and sling. Finally there’s a dance show with scope for a little audience participation.

Although the exhibits and activities are interesting, the entrance price is high and the slightly dated approach has stiff competition from the newer Mari Mari Cultural Village. That said, it has an advantage in that it deals with people from a single tribe – and in the place where they lived – rather than taking a scattergun approach to tribal culture.