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Rungus Longhouse 龍古斯長屋
Explore the Wonder of Sabah Malaysia
The Rungus are an ethnic group of Borneo, residing primarily in northern Sabah in the area surrounding Kudat. A sub-group of the Kadazan-Dusun, they have a distinctive language, dress, architecture, customs, and oral literature.
The Rungus is a sub-group of the Kadazandusun group found mainly in Kudat and Bengkoka peninsula in the northern part of Sabah. Rungus live in their traditional longhouse in which each family lives in a separate apartment with its own sleeping and working areas and kitchen. A gallery runs through the entire longhouse and allows all the residents to mingle and socialise. The Rungus tribe weave a fine tale literally and it’s believed that each time they weave a bead necklace using certain patterns, they are actually telling a story such as a man going spear-hunting for a revering creature. Kampung Bavanggazo where a community of Rungus lives, offers the rare opportunity to experience their customs, music dance and cuisine. In olden times, longhouses of 75 doors have existed, now they rarely exceed 10 doors, along the communal gallery that has an elevated platform of split bamboo. The house is framed by outward sloping walls of wide-spaced poles. This provides ventilation and a comfortable sitting area for work, relaxation and socialising. Traditionally, the Rungus people live in longhouses built on stilts, but the shift to modern-day living has meant that the sight of such longhouses are getting more rare. In Kg. Bavanggazo, you can still experience this fascinating communal lifestyle in a purpose-built longhouse constructed entirely of traditional materials but with added modern comforts like toilets and showers. The Rungus have indeed mastered the difficult and tricky combination of a traditional life-style with the advancement of ‘modern’ ideas, and preserved ancient skills, in a world spinning much faster around them.