Kota Kinabalu – A traditional ceremony to appease the spirits of Kinabalu was held by the Kadazandusun community in Tamparuli on Saturday in the wake of earthquakes which has struck Sabah.
Yesterday two minor quakes were reported, a week after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake caused the deaths of 18 people, including children and mountain guides, on Mount Kinabalu.
About 100 people took part in the ceremony. A native leader, Singkaban Kowii, was quoted by AFP as saying they would try to communicate with the mountain spirits to better understand why the quakes were continuing.
“This is the first time we are doing this kind of special prayer, just for Mount Kinabalu,” said Singkaban, 75, who wore a blue sarong and carried a traditional dagger and amulet. “We will communicate with the spirit and find out what is needed from us to stop the aftershocks and take care of the mountain.”
A rooster was later killed in a ritual sacrifice.
Kinabalu is held to be sacred by the Kadazandusun, the largest community in Sabah, and is believed to be the home of ancestral spirits.
Many in Sabah have blamed the earthquakes on a group of Western tourists who posed in the nude for photographs on the summit of Kinabalu a week before the first earthquake struck.
Two Canadian sisters, one British woman and a Dutchman have been deported from Malaysia after pleading guilty to obscenity charges. They were sentenced to three days’ jail and fined RM5,000 each.