© Nadia J Mahfix 2014

Nadia has returned from Sabah following a ten-day stay at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu. We are currently going through her images, doing the first edits. Her original brief was to ‘go discover’ and find inspiring images captured in her own inimitable signature, which is in black & white, distinctively underexposed, contrasty, moody and gritty.

Having just seen her initial selections, I am pleased and inspired that she has managed to capture, in essence, a road trip series, set against her will to discover the remnants and evidence of traditional Kadazandusun Murut practices and folkore. ‘Finding Bobohizan‘ is a working title for her series, until we can come up with another more apt phrase. More later.

I came across an essay about the roles of the Bobohizan, who are essentially much revered priestesses and leaders in the Kadazandusun Murut hierarchy communities scattered throughout Sabah. According to legend they have supernatural powers and are semi-divine in nature. Being close to nature and the mountains is paramount to their beliefs, hence the natural respect and reverence given to Mount Kinabalu, where offerings of animals have often been sacrificed.

More  here : ‘Looking at origins of the Bobohizan’ by Tan Sri Panglima Herman Luping , Daily Express, June 8, 2013

~ SL