Mari Mari cultural village in Kota Kinabalu


Mari Mari cultural village is like a mini Borneo. A lot smaller than the grand Cultural Village in Kuching, it makes for a nice morning or afternoon attraction to get a feel of the traditional way of life of the Sabah tribes. While it can be a bit cheesy (think headhunters attacking you), our guide had a sparkling sense of humour and really made our day.

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The place is small with five houses of different tribes, and perfect for kids. Blowpipes, headhunters, stories of warriors and a traditional trampoline should entertain kids of most ages.

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Traditional way of burying the dead by one of the tribes. How they get the body in the jar is a mystery. According to our guide it is the job of the mothers (shudders).

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Traditional “yeast” – an important ingredient in making rice wine.

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During the tour you get to taste different foods and see how they are prepared: here a lovely sweet fried kuih jala. We also sampled rice wine and rice cooked in a bamboo stalk.

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The tribes that lived by the coast and had contact with trading routes had elaborately decorated houses – this I believe is a wedding set-up.

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This is the ancient Jumpstreet. To see how it works you have to go and visit!

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The dance performance in the end of the tour was short and sweet and the bamboo dance finale was very cool. The tour ends with a meal of simple local dishes.

You can only visit as part of the guided tours starting at given times, so check the times and book ahead. We paid 160 RM per person including transport from our city hotel, about 30 minutes away (depending on traffic).

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  1. They bury the deceased in big jar first. After the corpse is fully decomposed, they move the bones to a smaller jar. 🙂

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