THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE KADAZANDUSUN ETHNIC THE DUSUN TATANA TRIBE: ENGAGEMENT AND MARRIAGE
In the beginning, the Dusun Tatana, who are mostly in Kuala Penyu District, live in clans and are divided into two groups; those who live in Suang Seruang (upstream) and in Suang Tunan (downstream). In the end, those who live downstream are called Tatana.
A man and an elderly lady become the middle-person called susuruan, behalf of the man side visits the girl side normally on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. The girl side is given time to discuss and fix the date for the susuruan to return for the answer. Upon return, if the request is accepted then the girl's family serves food and drinks to the susuruan. If nothing is served means the man's request is rejected.
The date of engagement is fixed upon agreement on both sides and the month and day are considered good as well according to even numbers calculation. The cost of engagement borne by the man is according to the couple's family abilities. For the engagement normally a caribou or a pig is requested, together with a pair of clothes, a gold ring, a gold bracelet, a suitable amount of money for food preparation, and a divorce money of RM500, in case a divorce occurs.
Both are forbidden to communicate before marriage. The girl cannot go anywhere according to her wish except upon the consent of her fiance. If she disobeys then she will be sentenced to return all the engagement expenses. If the man disobeys then all the engagement expenses are considered burnt.
KOTOLIBAN OR SEPANGADAK (LEFT BEHIND)
If the youngest daughter marries first than her elder sisters then the youngest daughter has to present kotoliban to her elders in the form of headdress, a dress, a sarong, and a gold ring.
BALUN (MARRIAGE EXPENDITURE)
Normally, it is a big adult caribou and pig, a gold bracelet or gold necklace, a dowry of RM500, and a suitable amount of money for food preparation according to the level of the wedding ceremony.
To Christians and Catholics or Pagans, their wedding differs from the custom of drinking and wedding preparations such as reception. They prepare cuisines such as rice cake and a variety of dishes, including slaughtering an adult caribou to be served on a festive evening.
NIALAP AND UNULI MARRIAGES
Nialap means both man and girl, upon their own will, become husband and wife without being engaged. They are married off in a quick and simple manner with moderate expenses that include a caribou, a pig, and a reception.
In the Inuli marriage, the man goes home to the girl's house and it depends on the girl whether to accept or reject the man.