KOTA KINABALU - Buffaloes will be sacrificed as part of rituals to appease the spirits of Mount Kinabalu at simultaneous gatherings at the foothills of the mountain early today.
Kadazandusun Cultural Association executive secretary Benedict Topin said the monolob rituals would be held at the Kinabalu Park in Kundasang and at Mamut in Ranau at about 8am.
Mount Kinabalu Mountain Guide Association president Richard Soibi said the ritual at Kinabalu Park would be in an open area near the Timpohon Gate at the base of the mountain.
Buffaloes would be slaughtered during the ritual that would be conducted by a bobolian (Kadazandusun shaman), he said, adding that the ceremony was being organised by the folk of Kampung Bundu Tuhan, just adjacent to the Kinabalu Park.
After the slaughter of the buffaloes, the bobolian will hand over animal organ parts to two experienced mountain guides who will take them to a location on the top of the mountain.
The carcasses will then be butchered and the meat cooked and shared among those attending the ritual.
Benedict said the monolob ritual at Mamut, where seven buffaloes were to be sacrificed, was being organised by villagers from around the area.
The ethnic Lotud community held similar rituals to appease the mountain spirit on Tuesday.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is the Kadazandusun paramount leader, had said that Mount Kinabalu, considered sacred to Sabah's indigenous communities, had been desecrated by the 10 foreigners who stripped naked on the mountain on May 30.
Just a week later, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook Mount Kinabalu, causing rock and boulder avalanches that killed 18 people, including four mountain guides.