One of the highlights of our visit to Sabah was the afternoon we spent at Linangkit Cultural Village. This collection of traditional buildings has been set up by a small group of individuals keen to preserve their cultural heritage in a rapidly modernising society.
The visit starts with the removal of shoes and ceremonial washing of feet before entering the small museum by our guide and curator, an erstwhile engineering student, now full-time front man of the enterprise.
Cherry in the museum
The museum's most memorable exhibits were some shrunken heads, some huge Chinese storage jars, adopted as ritual objects by the tribespeople and a full tribal costume, complete with embroidered jacket and hooped belt which the tourist can try on.
Julita working on 'linangkit'
The distinctive tribal textile tradition is kept alive by Julita who keeps her brightly coloured threads in a clear plastic tool box for easy identification.
Young & old play drums & gongs
Our visit culminated in a traditional meal served in the large and airy function room, built over the river, to provide a natural cooling system. Some younger members of the group appeared in costume and played the traditional gongs, whilst we ate ‘hinata’ (raw fish) and drank the local brew or freshly prepared tea. The village also boasts a small fish farm and is planning some small-scale purpose-built tourist accommodation with additional restaurant facilities.