Friday, October 5, 2007


I’m trying to recall the types/names of padi Kadayan, but my memory seems to fail me. The best that I can recall are PADI SADONG (baas MANGAT or aromatic rice) and BAAS LAKATAN (baas lambut or glutinous rice).

Padi SADONG is a very special and is the most aromatic rice amongst the so many types of padi Kadayan. Padi SADONG is easily noticeable by its aroma and the nice smell emitted from the plants and the buah padi itself.

Sitting down at the TAATAK overlooking the rice field, watching the rising sun, inhaling the fresh, aromatic morning breeze from the rice field, especially the PADI SADONG and enjoying a breakfast of HUBI KAYU BAABUS and a sweetened desiccated coconut (PIASAU BAKUKUU) plus a cup of hot black coffee, that you wouldn’t get it from any where else except at KAMPUNG KADAYAN!! To me it was a very memorable and lasting experience and I wish I could turn back time!!

A Kadayan elder once told me, “MAKAN DITABASAN ANI WANG BILANG BUTING TIA BAIK ASANYA”. I used to eat NASI BABUNGKUS UPIH with fried salted fish (LAUK MASIN BAGOING) and KOPI SAJUK. You know what, that was the best lunch I ever tasted!!! Even the best menu in the English Restaurant in the City of London does not come anything near to that!! The reason for that is simple, beautiful scenery, fresh, aromatic air we breathe that makes everything we taste are extraordinaire appetising.

Nevertheless, my intention is to invite the forum members to list down all the names of PADI KADAYAN for the purpose of future reference. It is very important to document every single segment of the Kadayan culture and tradition systematically and one of those segments is Padi Kadayan. Padi Sadong and padi Lakatan will soon become extinct if efforts are not taken to preserve them. Try this, mention BAAS SADONG AND BAAS LAKATAN to your own children, see what their responses are? Or ask them “SABANYAK-BANYAK BAAS, BAAS APA YANG HANTAP MANGAT?” Kindly let me know the answer once you get it.

Systematic documentation will involve imaging (plants (seedling, mature), leaves, rice (green and ripe), scientific names, description, etc.

I just hope that there are Kadayans out there who are eager and interested to initiate such programme for the benefit of future Kadayans. If padi SADONG and padi LAKATAN is already in the verge of extinction (endangered species), just imagine WHAT IF the KADAYAN is something like the MAYAN CIVILISATION.!! Think about it.

Better late than never.



Hj Ramlee said...


Amping is a form of rice grain that has been flattened by pounding using what the Kadayans call LASUNG (a much larger version of the pestle and mortar). To achieve this type of rice requires the rice (with husk) to be soaked in water overnight, then drained before stir-frying inside a hot wok (without oil) and immediately pounded inside the lasung to remove the husks. After the husks have separated from the rice grain, a NYIU (a type of round dish made of rattan) is used to TAMPI (throwing the rice into the air and catching same into the nyiu to remove unwanted husks and dust)The resultant rice grain will be flattened.

In the Philippines, amping is known as PINIPIG but the Filipinos are cleverer in that they pound the same rice with pandan leaves, leaving the pinipig slightly green in colour and emitting a wonderful aroma of pandan leaves.

Quaker Oats (the ones found in supermarkets with the face of a Quaker of Pennsylvannia on the tin) is also known to Kadayans as amping because the flattened oats look similar to rice ampings.

Amping is eaten raw or with SANTAN ( hot coconut cream) mixed with sugar.

When I was young my father related a story of how one of his relatives who took part in a MANGAMPING festivity boasted that he could polish off a whole CUPAK (half a coconut shell - 4 cupaks made 1 GANTANG in our old measure of dry volumes for rice, flour and other grains). He did so and in no time he was groaning under a tree, unable to move and could hardly breath. In his haste to prove his worth, he forgot that amping, when eaten and followed by liquids, expanded exponentially. His stomach had to be massaged using a cupak by my grandmother!

MANGAMPING, however, carried a more important role to Kadayans beyond just eating a fairly bland grain. It was a very important MATING RITUAL.

MANGAMPING was preceeded by MALADUN. LADUN was the leftover rice grains that were still in the fields after the major harvest was completed. The Kadayans did not harvest their rice like the Malays in the Malay Peninsula or the Bajaus or Dusuns in Sabah, who employed the use of sickles to cut the rice stems just above ground level and then threshing the stems in bundles. The Kadayans harvested their rice using a type of small knife called a GAMAN and cutting the rice stalks only. This would leave a small percentage of unripe rice grains in the field called LADUN, to be collected later for amping.

When the Kadazandusuns of Sabah celebrated their harvest festivals by merry-making, the Kadayans had MANGAMPING festivals (although on much smaller scales). Many people these days (or even those days) do not realise that the making of flattened and rather bland rice was an important source of free intermingling between the sexes.

In the days when arranged marriages were the norm, MANGAMPING festivals were opportunities for closer contacts between young men and women. Since the simple festivals were held in the open and in the presence of everyone in the village (and people from other villages who were bent of meeting others), no outward sins were assumed.

If it is true that human scents can attract or dispel, it is during the festival such basic human instinct displayed itself. For during the MANUTUK part of the festivity young men and women were allowed to be just inches from each other. MANUNTUK was the actual pounding of the just-fried rice grain. It was never the done thing for the grain to be pounded just by one person. To make things merrier, up to 4 people can pound the grain in turns, often with disastrous results to the grain, for it was not easy to coordinate the pounding without someone missing a stroke (the pestles were up to 6 feet long and quite heavy).

Since this physical activity often led to the expose of human scents (whether perfumed or otherwise), arousal or attraction began here.

It was normal for marriage proposals to follow mangamping festivals. So we Kadayans born in the 50s or before, are probably the products of some of these flattened and bland rice grains..

Hj Ramlee said...


I shall be going deep into the villages shortly to ask the elders the names of rice varieties they used to plant.

Rice, being a short-term crop, much like other grains or even bananas, cannot be kept for seedlings for more than 2 years, otherwise the grains become HAMPA (empty grains).

Economics and natural selections played a part in keeping certain varieties of crop going.

Rice varieties that were not productive, took to long to mature or were not very nice to eat generally disappeared over time. There must have been dozens of varieties available to the Kadayan farmers hundreds of years ago. However, only those varieties considered economical (all things considered) survived.

I read that in India there are currently some 2,000 varieties of rice. There were several hundred varieties available all over IndoChina, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, China, Korea, Spain, Italy, the USA, Australia, Africa and South America.

Research into rice generally focus itself into economic viability as a long-term staple crop. This often led to the elimination of inferior species, much like Jasmine rice from Thailand is considered a premium variety by consumers in South East Asia.

For reasons of politics, the Japanese (and even Koreans) are not able to taste the available varieties from other nations due to their long-standing prohibition on the importattion of rice.

For those who assume that every Chinese person who walks the earth is an avid rice consumer, think again. Rice is only grown in southern China and Hainan. The people living in northern and north-western China (Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi for instance) grow wheat and corn. The staple diet of these people is the MAN TAU, a steamed bun(similar to our kueh pau)but without filling.

There are heaps of literiture available on rice from the myths to economics, politics and plain scientific studies.

Hj Ramlee said...


The Kadayan term "nataki" comes from the word TATAK (in Malay TETAK), meaning to chop or cut.

Although Kadayans converted to Islam several hundred years ago, their animist beliefs remain intertwined with their new religion.

Kadayans have always been very "eco" in their thinking. Their relationship with the soil and surroundings was akin to what Malays called "seperti kuku dengan isi" (like the nail and the finger).

The forests played a very big role in the psyche of Kadayans. Forests were large, powerful, contained everything good and bad and had to be approached with absolute reverence. The consequences in improper dealings with forests could be extremely dire.

Hence, "experts" amongst Kadayan communities in dealings with the wherewithalls of forests (especially with their dewllers)were important persons within the community.

This was where NATAKI played a crucial role. Kadayans would not touch any part of any forest without an expert first making the initial "cut" (tatak). Such an expert would be knowledgeable in ways to communicate with the unseen, begging for permission to enter or if permission was denied, to force the unseen to emigrate elsewhere.

There were therefore two kinds of TATAK. One was TATAK DAMAI (co-existence with the spirits) and the other TATAK LALIH (forced eviction of the spirits). Very few so-called forest experts would want to resort to the latter because the consequences to him and those who asked him for the favour could be disastrous if the spirits were adamant.

NATAKI for rice planting was a much milder of of dealing with the soil and spirits. Over time, it became habitual to ask someone to perform the task just to avoid blame if something bad did actually happen. Kadayans were by nature very superstitious and would generally apportion blame for bad luck to non-observance of customs and traditions.

On a more funny side (for Kadayans have always been care-free and hilarious people) NATAKI was also taken to mean "the first to be there". If a man had slept with a woman and she subsequently married someone else, that person who first bedded her would claim the NATAKI.

Salim said...

salah satu keunikan duong terletak pada tiangnya yang di panggil DINNER untuk menghalang tikus naik melalui tiang.seingat ku gelager duong tidak menggunakan paku tetapi di SIMPAI pada tiang yang di panggilikatan {simpai singgager}kalau mau tahu padi kekal banyak di duong gelagarnya akan MAUOUT.Pekera pertama yang di simpan dalam duong ialah 7 tangkai padi yang di katam oleh petuaahan kadang2 di tanggas dahulu.satu lagi yang menarik mengenai padikadayan ialah TELINTING tali yang terik utk menghalau pipit .kaedah lain yg di gunakan dengan membuat CANGGIN