Sabah quake: Tribal priest wants 10 buffalo from nude tourists

Sabah quake: Tribal priest wants 10 buffalo from nude tourists
A group of Bobolian or priests and priestesses performing magavau during the launching of State Level Harvest Festival 2010 in Keningau.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

KOTA KINABALU - To appease the mountain protector, the 10 western tourists who stripped and urinated on Mount Kinabalu should be fined 10 head of buffalo, according to local customs, says Sabah's chief tribal priest known as Bobolian.

The Bobolian, Tindarama Aman Sirom Simbuna, said on Sunday that the tourists' actions had angered the spirits and guardians of the mountain, which brought about Friday's quake in their rage.

"According to local beliefs, the spirit of the mountain is very angry," he said.

He said the victims of this anger were innocent people who had nothing to do with the indecent behaviour of the tourists.

"The tourists who angered the guardian of the mountain should pay for their mistakes by giving sogit.

"This fine, called sogit in the native tongue, should be in the form of 10 male or female buffaloes," said Tindarama Aman.

He also conveyed the condolences of the state's Bobolian community to affected families.

According to the local beliefs, Mount Kinabalu is the resting place for spirits of the dead before they move on to heaven or hell.

He said that these roaming spirits came be summoned through Bobolians or Tindarama during rituals called 'menolob'.

Tindarama Aman also hailed Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan's suggestion for a massive prayer gathering to appease the mountain spirit following the quake that is believed to have left 18 people dead.

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