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Susui Sangod Borneo preserves history of headhunting

TUARAN: About 45 minutes outside of Kota Kinabalu is a new tourism attraction dedicated to documenting and preserving Borneo’s headhunting past.

Called the Susui Sangod Borneo, this dimly lit mini exhibition room fills visitors with a sense of curiosity with its display of sword artefacts from a variety of different ethnic groups and the ones used by Japanese soldiers.

The curator of the exhibition centre Padiman Jabau said most of the artefacts on exhibit are either personal keepsakes that have been handed down through generations or acquired from the Lotud Borneo Museum in its capacity as the artefact trustee.

“This Susui Sangod Borneo exhibition centre is not only one of a kind, but it is also a treasure trove of knowledge and history that should be shared with everyone, particularly the younger generation.

“This is done to ensure that the history of head hunters and the customs of Borneo’s indigenous people are kept alive and not lost to time,” he said.

Situated within the popular Crocodile Farm, the Susui Sangod Borneo is run in collaboration with the Lotud Borneo Museum. Mainly focusing on the history of Sabah’s headhunting culture, the centre also displayed antique brass objects used during the olden days.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said Tuaran is poised to become a bustling tourism hub with the opening of yet another tourism attraction in the district.

Launching the exhibition centre recently, he described it as an educational product that enable visitors to understand more about the native heritage of Sabah as well as for locals to recognise the significance of their traditions.

In January, Tuaran Crocodile Farm also signed a collaborative agreement with Lotud Borneo Museum and Chanteek Borneo to transform its unused longhouse space within the compound into Momogun Heritage Lab.

The farm manager Engalbert Awing had previously said the Momogun Heritage Lab would function as a family-friendly activity centre that offers culturally-based fun activities that children will enjoy such as weaving and beading.

The longhouse was utilised to showcase traditional dance performances to visitors as a side activity until tourism was shut down due to the pandemic.

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