KUNDASANG, June 8, 2015:
Surface formation following the earthquake aftermath is said to resemble Datuk Gunting Lagadan, the first Dusun man to scale Mount Kinabalu.
Dusun is one of the more than 70 ethnic groups in Sabah.
A lodge on the mountain has also been named in his honour.
The “image” was initially thought to be of Aki Nabalu, which is the mountain’s name in the Dusun language.
A photo of the surface formation and that of Lagadan have gone viral and are being circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp.
The images hold a lot of fascination following the earthquake tragedy on Friday that has resulted in at least 16 deaths and many injuries on the revered mountain and property damage in the surrounding areas.
The Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) community believes that the spirits of their ancestors dwell among the bare rocks of Mount Kinabalu top.
According to local folklore, Aki Nabalu, which literally means “the revered place of the dead”, is the story of a broken-hearted wife who turned into stone waiting for the return of her husband.
Some say it is a giant king and it remained unshaken until Friday morning after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit most parts of Sabah.
Since the quake, the people have been lifting their eyes to the mountains seeking help from their god.
Many blamed the sacrilegious act by a group of Europeans who posed butt naked on Mount Kinabalu recently and thus desecrated the site revered as sacred to the people of Sabah.
The group of 10 tourists, believed to include two Canadians, two Dutch and a German national, were butt naked when they posed upon reaching the peak of Mount Kinabalu on May 29 morning.
Of the 187 climbers, a total of 16 deaths have been recorded and two more have not been accounted for.