|What the house of sculls used to look like in the old days.|
|A menhir around which human sculls were dried.|
There were various reasons why human heads were taken in days of old. Some say it was as a proof of manliness or coming of age for males, as trophies of battle and also as a mean of capturing and taming the sprits of your enemies to acquire the strength of the victim. By treating the skulls with respect and conducting ritual ceremonies, the spirits of the skulls could be placated into looking after the spiritual welfare of your longhouse and ensure good health and prosperity to all who lived in the village.
|The human sculls.|
The Monsopiad Cultural village was built by the 6th and 7th direct descendents of the Warrior Monsopiad himself who reputedly collected the 42 human skulls as trophies of his battle against invaders of his village. The Cultural village opened its doors to visitors on the 1st of May 199l at Kampung Kuai in Penampang . It built on the very same grounds where the famous warrior was born and lived. (Prior
|A Sagu worm.|
The cultural village is open daily to visitors and there are guided tours by in-house guides. Visitors are first given an introduction to the village and a traditional welcome drink of chilled lihing (local rice wine). They are also shown how home-grown tobacco is rolled up in palm leaves to make local cigarettes and they are given the opportunity to chew some betel leaves and nuts which was the standard things one would do when visitors came to you house in the old days.
Visits are then conducted to the house of Skulls to view the skulls and the mini museum, which
|A traditional Murut dance.|
Travelling to Monsopiad from the city takes about 20 minutes and plan to spend about half a day for the visit to Monsopiad. I would recommend doing it in the mornings when its cooler and at times the last cultural performance might get cancelled due to a lack of visitors.
Opening hours: 9.00am to 5.00pm daily.
Cultural performances daily at: 9.00am, 11.00am, 2.00pm & 4.00pm
Entrance fees: Malaysian = RM55.00 per person , International RM75.00 per person. Children below 12 years of age enter free.
For further information contact:
Monsopiad Cultural Village.
Tel : (088)774 337 , Email : email@example.com
Text and photos by DAVID DE LA HARPE