DOI link for ‘Our People’
‘Our People’ book
‘Land people’ generally inhabit the interior districts of Sabah, although some live in the coastal districts as well. They traditionally engage in paddy and shifting cultivation methods and are mainly animists, with some proportion of them being Christians and Muslims. In contrast to the ‘indigenous’ Ampal whose character silently bears the historical burden of the ‘land people’, Om is a Muslim of ‘sea people’ background. ‘Sea people’ generally live in the coastal districts of Sabah, traditionally engaged in trade and fishery, and profess Islam. Because of their entangled histories, ‘land people’ and ‘sea people’ of Sabah are often thought to be mutual rivals. From this standpoint, Ampal and Om should not be mingling, let alone become good friends, were it not for the reality at grass-roots level that ‘land people’ and ‘sea people’ have never developed their communities exclusively of each other.