THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE KADAZANDUSUN ETHNIC THE DUSUN SUBPAN TRIBE: ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE
The Dusun Subpan tribe lives along the Segama River in the District of Lahad Datu in the eastern part of Sabah. They sustain their livelihood by cultivating hill paddy, tapioca, and banana as well as hunting and fishing.
This is done after the man's family experience good dreams for three nights, and the girl is still unmarried. The enquiring entourage then is sent by the man's family.
TO SEEK THE HANDS IN MARRIAGE AND BE ENGAGED
If the girl has not reached puberty then the seeking hands in the marriage dowry are a yellow bracelet, money in the amount of RM1.00, and a hen. If she has reached puberty then it is only RM1.00 and a hen. Normally, the man side has to wait for not later than three days for the answer. The request is deemed to be accepted when the dowry is not returned within the specified duration. The man side is informed of the acceptance through a representative, together with the information about the engagement dowry of RM50 in cash and a gold ring that is normally wrapped in a handkerchief. The fiance gives monthly expenses until the marriage ceremony.
MANGADAA-ADAA AND SITTING ON THE DIAS CEREMONY
A day before the wedding ceremony both sides organise an event called mangadaa-adaa which is beating the gong simultaneously by both sides. This beating must be simultaneous to avoid untoward incidents. The sitting on the dias ceremony is held in the daytime followed by a reception.
Previously, when there is a disagreement resulting in non-consensus on both sides then the sitting on the dias ceremony is postponed till dawn, and until the dispute is settled by the village head. The couple must stay awake the whole night as this is believed to avoid bad incidents or ill fate like deaths.
Nowadays, this tribe chooses a wedding ceremony of musilom or mutarang that does not involve much abstinence. The sitting on the dias ceremony and reception are held simultaneously in the daytime or evening together with the cake-cutting event. The couple's attire is also more modern with the groom in a coat and a wedding gown for the bride.
THE MANANDOH CEREMONY
This ceremony is held on the third day of marriage together with the manukab batol (drinking tapai or fermented rice in a jar) ceremony, led by the newly-wed couple followed by their family members and guests. The ceremony is accompanied by the sound of traditional musical instruments and traditional dance performances. One of the activities in this ceremony is that the couple's handkerchief is placed randomly on someone's shoulder. This is the moment when the girls avoid it lest it is their turn to dance.
On the next day, the newlywed couple has to open up a small farm to symbolize the beginning of a new life as husband and wife.