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Monsopiad Cultural Village
by: Editorial Team

Monsopiad Cultural Village, Exotic Kadazan culture

Some 300 years ago, in a village in Penampang, Sabah, there lived a great Kadazan warrior named Monsopiad. So great was his power that no enemy could defeat him. During his lifetime, in order to protect his village, Monsopiad took the heads of 42 enemies.


Today, the 6th and 7th generation descendants of Monsopiad still live on their ancestral land by the scenic Moyog River. And in memory of the great Monsopiad, they have built the Monsopiad Cultural Village, a fascinating authentic showcase of the rich and ancient culture of the Kadazans that goes back a long time in history.


The Kadazans are part of the Kadazandusun community, the biggest ethnic group in Sabah. The Monsopiad Cultural Village has been built with traditional materials used by the Kadazandusun people for centuries, such as jungle logs, palm leaves and bamboo. After a warm greeting by your Kadazan host at the entrance to Monsopiad Cultural Village and a welcome drink of tapai (rice-wine), you can see the various daily activities in a Kadazan village. Here, everyone wears the traditional black Kadazan attire.


o        Monsopiad’s house: A big attraction is the replica of Monsopiad’s house, sitting on the original site, and raised off the ground. You climb up a log with steps cut into it to reach the bamboo landing before entering the spacious house.


o        The Kadazans cultivate rice: It is impressive to see the rhythmic pounding of rice in a wooden mortar by two young girls, as the long, carved wooden stick is heavy! You can have a go at pounding rice, if you like. The rice is then stored in a big tangkob or rice bin. Kadazan villagers also brew rice wine and make sago from the sago palm. The men make bamboo fish traps, machetes, gongs and blowpipes. The women weave cloth and mats, do embroidery and beadwork, and make sirung (the conical hat) and tadang (the carrier basket). The Kadazans are also famous for their dances, and you can join in the dancing during the performance.


o        House of Skulls – Here you can see the skulls of the 42 enemies slain by Monsopiad. Also displayed arc items used by the Bobohizans, the high priestesses, who occupy an important place in the Kadazan community. The Bobohizans continue to look after the skulls according to old customs and traditions.


So vivid are the stories told by the Kadazan guide that one can feel the presence of Monsopiad. Finally, as a fitting tribute to a great Kadazan warrior, you can follow the guide and trek up the hill to view the grave of the mighty Monsopiad.


Other attractions are the Kadazan wedding ceremony staged every Saturday in December, and the 40-minute Moyog River cruise in a lipa lipa boat to Sodomon Jetty, during which you can see rice fields, birds and the mystical Mount Kinabalu in the distance.



Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia fly to Kota Kinabalu daily. Monsopiad is about 20 minutes from Kota Kinabalu city. Monsopiad Shuttle pick-up return trip inclusive of admission ticket RM46 per person. You can also take a taxi or public bus to Penampang (bus stop at the back of Centrepoint Shopping Centre), get down at Dongonggon, and continue by minibus to Monsopiad.


Opening hours: Mon to Sat - 9am to 6pm

Closed on Sundays, 31 Dec, 1 Jan & 31 Aug (National Day).


Guided tours: 10am, Noon, 3pm & 5pm.

Cultural dances: 11am, 2pm & 4pm.


River cruise: 10am & 2:30pm


Admission:  RM2O (adult) & RM15 (child) inclusive of welcome drink.

Guided Tour includes House of Skulls, Current Exhibitions, Traditional Dances & Blow Pipe Shooting.


Facilities: Souvenir shop, beverages, car park


Hotel accommodation: Not available


Information:  Tel: 6088-761 336       

Fax: 6088-761 680

E-mail : mcv©

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