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Understanding Locals: Kadazan-Dusun

The indigenous people living around Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia are primarily from the Kadazan-Dusun ethnic group. They are collectively known as the Kadazan-Dusun people and are one of the largest ethnic groups in the state of Sabah, which is home to Mount Kinabalu. They are known for their traditional customs, rituals, and practices, which are deeply rooted in their connection to the land and the environment.

Picture source: Must-See Tourist Attractions in Sabah – Uinah Beverages (

Historically, the Kadazan-Dusun people have been predominantly farmers and agriculturists. They practice traditional farming methods and cultivate crops such as rice, vegetables, and fruits. The people have animistic beliefs and indigenous spiritual practices. They believe in the presence of spirits in nature and have traditional ceremonies to honor and appease these spirits. Their cultural festivals are often tied to agricultural cycles and harvest seasons.

As hikers climbing Mount Kinabalu, it is important to recognize and respect the cultural significance of the mountain to the Kadazan-Dusun people. At TWELF-X, our philosophy on adventures centres around embracing experiences and embracing a spirit of exploration. We have to engage in responsible and sustainable tourism to support the preservation of the Kadazan-Dusun cultural and heritage. Embracing of different cultures and heritage is an adventure by itself at TWELF-X and forms unforgettable memories during your adventure.