Unduk Ngadau Sabah


The Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant is held to commemorate the spirit of Huminodun, that she was of total beauty of the heart, mind and soul. The title comes from the ethnic word “Runduk Tadau”. In Rungus Language, Runduk means “to communicate”, and Tadaumeans “the Sun”. Thus, it can be interpreted as to communicate with God asking for blessing of sunlight. The alternate meaning of “Unduk Ngadau” is “the girl crowned by the sunlight.” Unduk Ngadau is one of the most recognisable cultural events in Sabah and the beauty pageant is unique to the state.

Joanna Kitingan (chairperson of UNK) said, “the Unduk Ngadau winner is supposed to be able to exude a high degree of moral because they are representing the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut women. We are also looking at a winner who can be the role model to the younger generation and has a spirit of voluntarism in being willing to sacrifice her time for the community, besides being intelligent to ably present our country, culture and tourism to the world.”[2]