Just ask any Dusun, and they’d know what ‘Tapun’ is!
It is basically a sacred word used by the Kadazandusun people about food and it is still practiced until now. The word is used to decline food politely when offered or when they could not eat some food that they thought about in order to avoid any bodily injuries by the evil spirits when stepping out from their home.
They believe that if you or reject a meal without saying ‘Tapun’ you will face physical harm. So the way of using ‘Tapun’ is that when you are offered food and you are not hungry, kindly decline the offer by gently touching the tip of the food or the tip of the plate and say ‘Tapun’.
Images by Rabani HM. Ayub, Tour Borneo