Muruts are the third largest indigenous group in Sabah. The Muruts, literally meaning ‘hillpeople’, are found mainly in three areas of the Interior Division, Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan. The Muruts are for the most part shifting cultivator, living in the more remote areas.

They live in communal longhouses, usually near rivers, using the rivers as their highways. They plant hill padi and topioca, hunt and fish for a living and were the last of Sabah’s ethnic groups to renounce head hunting.

The men are skillful hunters with blowpipe and spear, and of course their hunting dogs. Mostly converted to Christianity or Islam the Muruts still practise a remarkable from of a bride wealth in which a man on marriage pays bride wealth throughout his life. They are an extremely hospitable people and as in the KadazanDusun group some still refer to themselves by old tribal names such as Timogun, Tagal, Nabas etc.

source: “SABAH, land of the sacred mountain”, by Albert C.K. Teo

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