Traditional costumes of Sabah indigenous people are always one of my favourite photography targets. So far I never see an “expert” in such area. Coz most people, even those from tourism or cultural sector, cannot name more than 10 indigenous groups in Sabah. Many say Sabah is a melting pot for so many cultures and ethnics, but how many of us really know what are inside the pot? I found that even newspapers got the name of the ethnic group wrong sometimes.
There are more than 30 indigenous groups in Sabah. Each indigenous group can have over 10 sub-ethnics / sub-groups, which might use different languages and costumes. For example, Suluk and Iranun are the sub-ethnic of Bajau. Getting the photos for 100+ groups seems like a Mission Impossible.
In the past one year of travelling around Sabah, I have been trying my best to “collect” the photos of indigenous people in different district. Their photos are scattered around in my 50+ photo galleries here, so I decide to categorise them for easy viewing below (most photos may look familiar to you). I know my collection is far from complete, but it is one of the best sources to see the people of Sabah online. You can even find the photos of minority such as Iban and Ulu of Sabah. Anyway, this is just a draft verion. In the future, I will add more photos and write-up. If there is any mistake, please correct me.
Photos of Sabah indigenous people: