Rumanau people

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Rumanau people
Lobu people
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Malaysia (Sabah)
Lobu, Malaysian (Sabah Malay)
Folk religion (predominantly), Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Kadazan-Dusun, Murut

The Rumanau are an indigenous ethnic group residing in Sabah, eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo. They are known as the Lobu in the Keningau District near Lanas, and the Rumanau in the Masaum, Mangkawagu, Minusu areas of the Kinabatangan District along the Kinabatangan River, in Sandakan Division.[2] Their population was estimated at 2,800 in the year 1991. They are a sub-group of the Kadazan-Dusun, although their language (ISO 639-3 ruu) belongs to the Paitanic branch of the Austronesian language family.


The Rumanau people derived their name from two words "ru" and "ranah". The word ru is equivalent to the English phrase "to be with" or "to work with", and ranah refers to "wet earth" or "muddy soil". Thus the named Rumanau people means people who work with muddy soil. Wet paddy cultivation is the only known occupation among Kadazan-Dusun which involves "working with muddy soil". The Rumanau were the first ethnic group migrating out from Nunuk Ragang to acquire the skill of wet paddy cultivation. The paddy cultivation phase in Momolianism evolution had a big impact on the Rumanau people.


  1. ^ "Lanas Lobu in Malaysia". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. ^ William J. Frawley (2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics: 4-Volume Set. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 180. ISBN 01-951-3977-1.