Most of the Dusun Kimaragang tribe lives in the district of Kota Marudu in northern Sabah. They too have customs that are still practiced, and one of them is the marriage custom.


Mongumpai means looking for a sign of suitability of the future wife. A single adult man visits a girl's house that he plans to marry and stays overnight there. Before he goes to sleep he cites his intention to kinoringan (God) to send signs to him of marriage suitability with the girl. Normally, the man would experience either a good or bad dream. If there were no dreams then he would make his own decision.

Lumabat or sumondot is enquiring. The man side sends a representative to the girl's side to convey his intention to be engaged. Mangatod means sending a damakan (package) containing betel leaf, betel nut, edible soft limestone, tobacco and tobacco leaf, a ring, cosmetic set, and a mature cockerel with its tail touching the ground for the girl that has not been engaged previously. This is to complete the custom. However, there are cases in which this package is returned to gauge the man's true intention to marry.


Mongkonan consists of:

1. Berian: Money, agreed upon to be given to the girl side. This money belongs rightly to the girl's parents as compensation for growing up their daughter.

2. Belanja Angus: Money to be used for the marriage ceremony.

3. Rice and Caribou: The food to be consumed throughout the marriage ceremony.

4. Pangadapan om Talaman: Bedroom set, dias and the bride wedding attire.

5. Pulanut or salapa (copper container) containing ingredients for keinggatan (eating betel leaf), and kosigupan (smoking cigar) for the mongginggat om monigup (eating betel leaf and smoking cigar) activities during the sitting on the dias ceremony.

6. Sinolung Popogong: The equipment for the monuntung (hitting the equipment) event during the sitting in the dias ceremony.

7. Gantung: Money or caribou collectively agreed as a defense. In yesteryears, gantung is paid by the husband in case he is cruel to his wife or divorces her without reason.

8. Sogit Sompusasawo: A pig is sacrificed to legalize sexual intercourse.

9. Sogit Kinogumu: A pig is sacrificed to cool the villagers as the interaction between males and females is considered heaty.

10. Buru: RM30-RM50 cash is given by the husband to his parents-in-law. Buru means to free the descendent.


The groom's entourage parades in a procession to the bride's house bringing along tinipu (hunting equipment) if he is an expert in hunting, to be presented to the bride's family. Failure in bringing tinipu can delay or cancel the wedding. The groom's entourage enters the bride's house and the groom to the dias for the sitting on the dias ceremony. On the dias, the groom sits on the right of the bride facing the audience while the bride sits with both legs folded to the side to the left facing the wall.

The mibulugu ceremony begins with the groom washing his hands then taking a little rice, lumping it three times then giving it to the bride together with a little turongou fish as a side dish. The bride receives the rice with her hand and eats it. The bride reciprocates with the same treatment. The groom then gives her drinking water, reciprocated the same by the bride. Then the bride turns slowly to the right to face the audience followed by the groom who lifts up her veil.

Then the groom gives the bride a betel nut with betel leaf smeared with edible limestone, reciprocated the same by the bride. Then the groom gives the bride tobacco leaf and tobacco reciprocated the same by the bride. The groom takes a glass of kinomol (traditional wine), drinks a little then gives it to the bride who drinks it too.

The best man and bridesmaid then place a handkerchief on the heads of the newlywed. Boboliyan (priest) begins the mononsob ceremony whereby three pieces of embers and a water container are lifted onto the couple's heads, and the priest pours a little water onto the embers. Then he recites mantras requesting for the marriage to be evaded from bad incidents. After that is the monuntung dot botukul ceremony whereby the groom beats the botukul equipment three times to symbolize so that their descendants are not deaf or mute. The climax is the migol miandak when the couple performs the Pinakang dance followed by the best man and the bridesmaid and the parents of the newly-wed couple.

The elderly close relatives of the newly-wed couple then brief them about courtesy and the address for both families especially those with in-law titles in a ceremony called misusur dot koworisan. Then both families feast together in friendliness and merriment.

Usually, another sitting on the dias ceremony is held at the groom's house on the next day or days after in a ceremony called Maganda.

Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, Sabah

Kompleks JKKN Sabah,
KM 4, Jalan Penampang,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Tel : 088 237052
Faks : 088 242 052