The Kadazan Dusuns

1.1 The Kadazan Resolution 1961

On August 6-7, 1961, the First Kadazan National Congress held at Jesselton Community Centre debated and voted to resolve that “Kadazan” is the generic identity of the numerous Dusunic, Paitanic, Idahan, Murutic ethnic and numerous other sub-ethnic and speech communities. This is the basis for the re-formulation of the KCA/KDCA Constitution and hence Article 6 lists all the ethnic, sub-ethnic and speech communities under Kadazan/Kadazandusun.

            1.1.1 Muruts are Kadazans 

Lest we be condemned to repeat our past for forgetting our history, for the sake of unity of being the foremost indigenous people of Sabah, (North Borneo) and sharing more similarities than differences in worldviews, cosmology, adat and the way we relate to mother nature, it will be unjust for us to negate and disrespect the wisdom of our visionary leaders and wise elders of 1961 who, after hours of debate and deliberations during the August 7, 1961 National Kadazan Congress, resolved by overwhelming majority votes that Muruts too are “Kadazans”.

In the words of Tan Sri Herman Luping,

“It is best for the Muruts to be united as one with the Kadazans as the foremost definitive natives of Sabah, than be left in ambiguity”.

The hallmark of a democratic leader emerged in the late Honourable Datuk G.S. Sundang when he made his closing remarks (after the 1961 Conference voted Muruts as one with Kadazans), that he was glad that the people who had been known as Muruts had also been included as Kadazans and respecting the decision of the majority, he pledged that he would explain when he returned to his area of the need for all Kadazans to work together.

1.2. The Kadazandusun Resolution 1 (1989)

Guided by the meaning of Kadayan @ Kadazan as God created and divine spirited people and considering the term Dusun in essence means “stewards of the land” with diversity farms and “gardens in the forest”, combining the terms into Kadazandusun can appropriately define the meanings and purposes of the existential beings of the “Kadazandusuns” as “divine-human stewards of the land practicing bio-diversity agronomy”.

Subsequently, the new unified term ‘Kadazandusun’ was tabled, conscientiously debated for a few hours and was unanimously passed as a resolution during the 5th Kadazan Cultural Association’s Delegates Conference on November 4 & 5, 1989. The unified term “Kadazandusun” was thus unanimously adopted as the best alternative generic identity as well as the most appropriate approach to resolve the “Kadazan” or “Dusun” identity crisis.

Thereafter, the conference also passed the resolution to amend the KCA constitution and change the name of the association from Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) to Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA).

1.3. The Kadazandusun Language Resolution 1995.

1.3.1.  KADAZANDUSUN – The Official Name of the Language of the Kadazandusuns (January 24, 1995)

1.3.2.  BUNDULIWAN – The Official Dialect of the Kadazandusun Language (April 11, 1995)

1.4. The Kadazandusun Resolution 2 (2004)

The KDCA 10th KDCA Delegates Conference held on December 4-5, 2004 at Hongkod Koisaan debated and unanimously passed the tabled Conference Resolution 2, worded in Bahasa Malaysia as follows:

2. Bahawa Kerajaan Malaysia hendaklah menerima pakai nama “Kadazandusun” sebagai nama bangsa masyarakat itu di dalam semua keterangan diri (seperti sijil kelahiran, kad pengenalan dan sebagainya) dan bukannya menggunakan sama ada “Kadazan” atau “Dusun”, kerana sesungguhnya dua nama itu merujuk kepada suku bangsa yang sama.

Nota: Di-usulkan oleh Gun. Jusking Ejim perwakilan dari Beaufort dan disokong oleh Gun Duing Sumpong (Papar), Gun Allan G Dumbong (Tg Aru), Gun. Suman Yasambun (Linsudan, Keningau) dan Gun John Amit (Dambai, Membakut).

In the meantime, all other sub-ethnic groups and speech communities under the Kadazandusun other than the current listings of 40 sub-ethnic communities as per KDCA Constitutional provision are still being finalized based on consultations with the relevant communities such as in the recent requests by Tinagas and Begahak (Bega’ak) communities for them to be recognised as Kadazandusun sub-ethnic communities.

We need to know our history, understand, respect and uphold the wisdom of our Kadazandusun pioneer leading elders and the lasting gifts such as in the spirit of the Kadazan Resolution 1961, “all for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall” (Alexander Dumas) realization if we, the Kadazandusuns as the foremost Indigenous People of Sabah desire to move, grow and develop ever forwards with our unique God given blessings and dignity in humanity or else we become those whom Edmund Burke referred to as people who don’t know their history and are thus doomed to repeat it.

1.5. The Kadazandusun Cultural Association’s (KDCA) constitution, Article 6 (1) defines the Kadazandusuns as the definitive indigenous peoples of Sabah comprising the following dialectical ethnic groups:



* and persons whose mother tongue is any of the above dialect and who habitually practices and expresses the traditions, custom and other cultural manifestations of the same.