Malaysian Culture: The Natives


MALAYSIA Oct. 16. 2020

Cultural Broadcasting Team

Hello friends, this is Brian from Malaysia.

As a country, Malaysia is very diverse and multicultural. The people residing there consist of the Malays, Chinese, Indians and Natives.

For today, we will be exploring the native tribes found in Malaysia and sharing one tribe's customs

Malaysia consists of 13 states and can be separated into two parts, East and West Malaysia.


Credit: ©Photo by Serban Bogdan

On the left is West Malaysia and the right East Malaysia (also known as Borneo)


East Malaysia, which consists of Sabah and Sarawak is home to most of the tribes that can be found in Malaysia. There are a total of 59 different tribes altogether in East Malaysia and today I will share mine, the Lun Bawang. As with most tribes in Malaysia, the Lun Bawang people used to practice headhunting. As the name suggests, we hunted for heads. Collecting them was a sign of power and respect. The more one had, the more influence and fear one commanded. It was one of the few things we as a people were proud of and known for, other than getting drunk 80% of the day. 


Above are the traditional outfits for the men and women of the Lun Bawang people

This is me wearing traditional outfits with my friend!


However, through time and some missionaries from Australia, headhunting slowly became a thing of the past and is now frowned upon, though getting drunk still remains. Anyway, this has been just a brief introduction of one of the native cultures in Malaysia. And before I leave here are 3 words I will teach you in Lun Bawang. Thank you for reading, have a great day. 


Anun bala = How are you? 

Bala do’ = I’m fine  

Ui mawa nemu = I love you


“Anun bala” is like our way of saying hi and the response is “bala do’ “


MALAYSIA Oct. 16. 2020

Cultural Broadcasting Team