October 19, 2011

Kadazan Kuizou

Someone from the North Borneo History Enthusiasts group once asked me how Dusun people ended living in Kampung Takuli, Beaufort, which to his knowledge is a Bisaya kampung. I was stumped because I never thought of asking that question. I've taken for granted that the Dusun had always been there. I told myself that I would get to the bottom of this. Today finally I had the opportunity to do so. 

A childhood kampung friend (distant relative in fact) came to visit my farm this afternoon, his name is Ilon or Lon. His baptism name is Godfrey in fact but I'm more comfortable calling him Lon. 

First of all, he corrected my misinformation. He isn't a Dusun Tatana as I had mistakenly assumed nor is he a Dusun, he said this with affirmation. He said he is a Kadazan, Kadazan Kuizou to be exact. He said his ancestors had been in the area for a very long time. In fact, they have their own myth/legend in the area. Suggesting their presence in that area is indeed ancient.

Kadazan Kuizou community there used to be in great number. Their old settlement used to be in Kampung Landayan, nearby Kampung Takuli. They lived in a longhouse in Kampung Landayan. 

Source : http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum/showthread.php/24308-Journey-to-northern-Borneo
One day, the Kuizou was celebrating. Everyone was happy, they drank their tapai, doing their dance and beating their gongs and kulintangan. Unfortunately, I do not know why were they so happy, I will ask the old folks when I have the chance. Anyway, the merriment went out of hand. The Kuizou has a taboo that they called Masab. It basically prohibits anyone from ill-treating animals which include making fun of it. On this day, perhaps of the abundance of alcohol, the Kuizou became uninhibited. They caught a frog and tied an anklet with little bell on it. They let go of the frog and the bells jingled as the frog tried to hop away. The Kuizou laughed at the sight of this. 

Suddenly, the earth shook or perhaps opened up and the whole longhouse sunk into the earth, killing every Kuizou in it. It just so happened that one Kuizou family were not amongst the Kuizou in the longhouse when they had their merriment because this family had to attend to some business which led them away from home. Hence, they said, the present Kuizou in Kampung Takuli are descendants of this one family. To this day, among the kampung folks in Kampung Takuli, they still fear and will scold their children if they make fun of animals. "Masab nanti", they would say. 

Source :
The above is the traditional costumer of the Kadazan Kuizou in Beaufort. Another story that was to explain why the Kuizou's number had diminished in that area was that they were attacked by giant mosquitoes, as big as a chicken but I've yet to uncover the full version of this story. 

I've checked KDCA's website, there is no Kuizou among the many natives listed but there is a Kuijau. I've checked with Lon, he said it is possible that Kuizou is a corruption of Kuijiau. Till next time.
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