KOTA KINABALU: Sex acts and the scattering of human ashes on Mount Kinabalu are among the reasons why the spirits of the mountain are angry, according to two priestesses of the ethnic Lotud community.
The two priestesses revealed this during the monolibabou ritual at the Kampung Bantayan hall in Tamparuli at the mountain's foothills on Saturday night.
Tuaran district Native Chief Saniban Ampilia who was present at the four hour ritual that ended at nearly at midnight, said the tantagas or priestesses were also told that the mountain spirits were angry over things taken from Mount Kinabalu.
"The spirits told them of the many disrespectful acts on the mountain including orang putih, tinggi berbogel (tall caucasians going naked)," he said.
The spirits revealed that the mountain has been disturbed many times, said Saniban, adding that he was personally surprised at the revelations of the scattering of human ashes on the mountain.
He said during the ceremony, the Lotud priestesses - Singkaban Kuil of Kampung Damat and Jamat Gombur of Kampung Tagas - faced difficulties in carrying out the ritual.
He said the presence of more than 100 people caused unnecessary distraction during the ritual as they were also noisy.
A monolibabau ceremony would usually last about an hour but this was much longer as there were too many distractions, he said.
Saniban said the tomabor ceremony or the ritual to make peace offerings to the mountain spirits would be held at the same location on Tuesday.
He said several chicken and bags of rice would be offered to appease the mountain spirits.
"It would be an opportunity for the tantagas to ask for the spirits' forgiveness on behalf of those who have offended them," Saniban said.
These ceremonies were first of a series of similar rituals being planned by Sabah's indigenous communities in the wake of the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that killed 18 people on the mountain.
The earthquake occurred a week after 10 foreigners stripped naked and reportedly urinated near the mountain's summit.