Sabah has no less than thirty ethnic tribes. A city rich in cultural dance. During the festive season and, in addition, the Harvest Festival festivities, Sabah Fest is commended in May each year, public can see numerous cultural dances to enliven the festive atmosphere.
Sabah’s population consists of various ethnic groups. Sabah’s largest ethnic group is the Kadazan Dusun, Bajau and Murut. Other tribes are Kedayans, Bisaya, Irranun, Rungus, Kimarang, Kwijau, Lundayeh, Ubian, Binadan, The River, Tatana, Tagaas, Brunei, Sulu and others.
The difference between the various ethnic groups is particularly significant in terms of language, religion, customs and way of life which includes their traditional costumes.
Where did Sabah get its name?
The origins of the name ‘Sabah’ believed to have originated from a type of banana plants known as saba banana which is a type of banana called “SABBAH” or “Sappah” by the Bajau community made a very popular fried bananas. Bananas are widely planted along the west coast of Sabah as a food source. ‘Saba banana’ also known as ‘jaba’ by the Bajau community. Now, ‘saba bananas’ better known as the ‘pisang menurun’.
The name ‘Sabah’ was first used in the 15th century by merchants who traveled between the islands of North Borneo to the Sulu archipelago in the southern Philippines. In conclusion, the name ‘Sabah’ has been in use since before the advent of North Borneo Chartered Company and the British again. In 1604 Portuguese maps Melaka, Kota Kinabalu referred to as the Api-Api.