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Traditional village Mari Mari - Borneo 

Mari Mari

When traveling, it is interesting to get to know places that resemble the ancient way of life. Different time periods
in the past, it brings a certain maturity to generations and thus their way of living, culture, customs and myths. Specific area
There are various ethnic tribes that date back to the early 20th century
they lived a traditional way of life and maintained unusual practices. We went to places where they preserve the memory of these ethnic tribes and created a simulation of the traditional way of life. It is the cultural village of Mari Mari, located about 12 kilometers north of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, located in the northern part of the island of Borneo on the shores of the South China Sea.

It is here that you can move through time and experience first-hand how you lived with unusual tribes. Here you can see the dwellings of five different ethnicities, their equipment, including the kitchen and common areas, their clothing and demonstration skills. Occasionally you can taste a variety of drinks and dishes that were once prepared in primitive conditions. They use not only the original ingredients, but also the method of preparation and equipment. The specifics of traditions, customs, board games and abnormal rituals are also described in great detail and engagingly for each tribe.

We managed to interview one of the guides.

They opened the unique traditional village to visitors in December 2008, so they have been operating it for eleven years. During that time, it is visited by tourists from all over the world, especially Asians, with the dominant part coming from China, about 40%. South Korea, Japan and, of course, locals from Malaysia have numerous representations. The rest is already a mix, including Europeans. 

It is also interesting to tell the various traditions on which the tribes have established themselves for many generations and have become significantly representative of their community. However, many traditions have not been as positive as we will mention later. Sociological education had its strict family structure. If they had children, the girls had to sleep on an imaginary bunk bed above their parents as the safest place in the hut, but the boys had to sleep on the floor in the middle of the common room since childhood because they had to take care of protection. At such a young age, they were brought up for manhood and courage.

All dwellings and their equipment in the traditional style represent ethnicities that were part of the habits of head hunters. It was not just the prey of the enemy in tribal wars or a sudden attacker, but it was their duty to do so as a purpose-built activity. One of the motives was to prove his adulthood or proof that a man is worthy to marry a certain woman. The real tradition was that the bride's father required the expectant groom to bring him the head of another man from a different tribe as a condition for approving the marriage and also to show the ability to protect his wife. The wedding ceremony was planned only after the purpose booty was brought. To do this, they went to distant villages at night, where other tribes lived, broke into homes and literally beheaded someone alive. Logically, each man had a higher position in the social class, the more heads he had at home as prey. You may say that these practices are long gone, but to our surprise it was confirmed that such tribes still lived in the 1920s. 

In the following decades, these violent traditions weakened slightly, to which the Second World War after the Japanese occupied the territory also contributed. Once the war ended and British coordination helped create an independent state, pressure was put to end these brutal traditions. This also began to change the lifestyle of the indigenous tribes. Most of them were slowly learning, started working and gradually integrated into everyday life. Surprisingly, a small minority called "land gypsies" did not want to work, let alone be educated, and still beg and roam in the immature parts of Borneo. This destination can only be highly recommended to all who love travel and non-traditional experiences.


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