RANAU: The Dusun community here believed in appeasing the Mount Kinabalu spirits through the “Monolob” ritual.

According to Kinabalu Park manager Yassin Miki, the ritual which is a practice of the Dusun community whenever a group wanted to climb to the peak accompanied by the mountain guide.

"However over the years the practise is done only at the end of the year during the Community Day in December," he said.

Yassin said the Monolob is done to request for blessing, protection and safety during the group climbing expedition from the mount spirit known as Aki.

"For the Dusun, Aki meant great ancestors while Balu means rock thus the name of Kinabalu means the final resting place of the ancestors’ spirits," he said.

He said the ritual is carried out by the Mountain Advisory Council where a Bobolian, the high priestess will head in the ritual carried out at the Timpohon Gate.

He said among the items used for the ritual offerings is seven white chickens and accompanied with seven chicken eggs, betel nuts, tobacco, lime-stone powder, and sireh leaves which will be place on a tray.

Then the Bobolian will lead chant and the chicken will be slaughtered during the ceremony.

The meat from chicken is then cooked and distributed to those present and that will be the end of the ceremony.

It is learnt in the olden days the cooked chicken meat becomes the food for the climbers to pack for their journey.

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