The ‘Siung’ of Papar.

Papar district is located around 50 km to the South of Kota Kinabalu city with a mixed population which are majorly Brunei, Bajau and Kadazan. The name Papar is believed to originated from the Brunei words meaning ‘flat land’.

The Kadazan from Papar has slightly different traditional costume compared to other Kadazandusun ethnic. The color black, red, white are still the main colors however the Kadazan of Papar takes the golden thread decoration to another level: lavishly spruce up. This can clearly be seen through the costume for Kadazan Papar women. Other than the costume design, the most significant difference that makes it easy for others to identify a Kadazan Papar woman, is the Siyung or cone-shaped hat.

Like music and melody, Kadazan Papar woman costume will be incomplete without wearing a Siyung.  This hand-woven hat is carefully woven from skin of young bamboo, which is dried and woven along side with dyed bamboo skin in black, red and white color. The woven pattern is based on geometric motifs and Siyung is finished off by adorning feathers or artificial flowers at the top.

Never the less, should you be interested to give your best pick up line to a Kadazan Papar lady who happens to be wearing a traditional costume, here are some tips for you.
Siyung with feather on top – unmarried. So you may giver her your best pick up line. One with artificial colorful flowers – married. Back off at once. Lastly, no fathers or flowers – widowed, grandmothers or elderly ladies. Prove to them that  chivalry isn’t dead, be the gentleman your mom will be proud of.


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