Abstract

Dusun Bundu and Tindal sub-ethnics practice the local beliefs and knowledge inherited from one to another generation to start a plantation, especially rice plantation. For the purpose of this research, nine informants were interviewed during the fieldwork at three villages in the district of Ranau, Tuaran and Kota Belud. This research focuses on the relevance of local beliefs and knowledge while farming and is analyzed based on qualitative interpretation. The findings of the analysis show that Dusun Bundu and Tindal believe that ‘patod’ (the ritual of opening a new land for agriculture), ‘gawoi’ (cleaning a small agricultural site), ‘pobobor do boros’ (to recite words), ‘moginipi’ (dreaming), ‘manalud’ (prayers for rice in booting stage), ‘momuhau’ (chasing the birds) and ‘pasalakoibambarayon’ ( inviting the rice spirit) during farming will be able to sustain the nature. In addition, the findings also revealed that this sub-ethnic are well versed in burning the fields without spreading the fire into the forest, a way to keep the soil fertile and avoid soil erosion as well as a landslide for conserving the nature. This research is essential to be brought forward and retained as it has a relevance to sustainable conservation and environmental management which focuses on local knowledge as a key to achieving conservation development in the 21st century.  In conclusion, the unification of local beliefs and knowledge of Dusun Bundu and Tindal are the alternative for nature conservation.