Kotobian Tadau Tagayo Do Kaamatan.
It is a sad reality that the true account of our Kadazan/Dusuns’ origin and historical background has been buried lost in the unwritten past. Today all that remain are social scientists’ theories and legendary tales which are yet to be married to produce focal points of dependable commonalties. The purpose of representing the legendary tales regarding Kadazan/Dusuns’ origin is for us to have at least a basis to re-visit our past possibilities wherein perhaps some scientists will burst into the unknown to clarify our origin-identity crisis.
The early Kadazan/Dusuns’ community at Nunuk Ragang lived a carefree life, enjoying the abundant supply of food and other basic necessities from the richness of nature that surrounded them. The legend relates that the Chinese adventurers from Kinabatangan and Labuk areas had their first encounter with the Kadazan/Dusuns. This was followed up by the marriage of the daughter of the Kadazan/Dusun chief to one of the Chinese heroes, who were rich enough to afford the dowry of 7 huge jars plus copper and silver wares.
Some says that the word Kadazan was a late conception by the educated locals to liberate themselves from the word “Dusun” which was regarded as low class and primitive people, the late Tun Fuad Stephens coined the word to uplift the image of the locals in 1963. Especially because Penampang was one of the nearest Tamu Centre – “Open Market”, besides being close to Towns (kakadazan). The first Tamu centre was situated in Inobong Penampang. The Bobolian or Bobohizan (priestesses) say that the meaning of ‘Kadazan’ is Tuhun – in english ‘the people’.. But according to the Kadazan folks in Penampang, they claimed that “Kadazan” exists even before their great-grand-mother was born. I also found a “Kadazan Dictionary and Grammar” book, which dated in 1958. The book has been compiled and printed in Australia and the first page i saw a picture of Kangaroo with a words of “A Gift From The Australian People Under The Colombo Plan”. When i lifted to page 9, i saw this interesting statement by the writer as quoting:- ” When i came to North Borneo in 1932 and was detailed to work amongst the Kadazan in Penampang and surrounding village”, meaning to say, the Kadazan name does exist even before 1963 ( as claimed by some). Kadazan was the name of the local community in Penampang.Same goes with the Dusuns in Tambunan, Ranau,Telupid, Beluran, Tuaran, Papar etc. They have been called Dusun all the while, but nobody knows that actually, they have their own Identity name.
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