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Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

TUARAN: In a quest to preserve the customs, traditions and ethnic heritage of her people, a Dusun Lotud woman built a house that allows visitors to stay overnight and embrace the community’s rich culture.

Salome Dominus, 60, said she wanted to educate and enlighten not just visitors, but the community and its present generation as well, about the way of life and traditions of the Dusun Lotud ancestors.

Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

Situated on a 1.6-hectare site in Kampung Sawah, Tamparuli, the Traditional Lotud House was built at a cost of over RM90,000 and has been welcoming visitors since January 2015.

According to Salome, many young people from the Lotud community have never set foot in a traditional house as such premises do not exist anymore.

She said apart from being a centre that showcased the Lotud culture, the house also served as a reference centre for all segments of the society, including students.

“Before the house was built, I read an article about a foreign tourist who was keen on seeing a visitors centre designed after a traditional house along the route leading to the resort areas in Tuaran, Tamparuli, Kota Belud or Ranau,” she told Bernama.

Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

Salome said she took note of the idea and engaged the services of an experienced carpenter to build the Lotud traditional house which was completed within three months in April 2014.

As an added attraction, she also built a house on a tembusu (fragea fragrans) tree costing RM50,000, making both the traditional and tree houses accessible to tourists visiting Kampung Sawah.

“I was inspired to build the tree house after watching a television programme on the expertise required in erecting such houses,” she added.

Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

Salome said both the traditional and tree houses were two unique tourism products that had earned much praise from visitors, including those from Sweden, South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand, who described the idea as something out of the ordinary.

She added the Traditional Lotud House also received bookings for gatherings such as birthday parties, family days, meetings and school holiday activities.

Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

Those looking for a different experience can spend the night here for RM30 per person. However, it can only accommodate up to eight guests at a time. They would also be served a traditional Lotud breakfast.

Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.
Photos taken from Salome Dominus' Facebook page.

The interior of the house is tastefully decorated with various traditional musical instruments, while the kitchen has coconut shells and bamboo cups that come in place of modern dishware, giving a unique twist to its overall ambience. -- BERNAMA

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