There is more than meets the eye when it comes to the sago plant, also known as rumbia. It has fascinated local communities and foreign visitors alike with its wide variety of uses and many visit the Rumbia Information Centre in Kuala Penyu to learn more about it.
The starch or sago is extracted from the stem of a matured rumbia. Sago is rich in carbohydrate and is an alternative staple food for the Bisayas and Kadazan (Dusun Tatana) people, and is locally known as “ambuyut”. No part of the sago palm is discarded. The locals used the leave as roofing materials and the branches (known locally as kumbar) for making their house’s walls. Floor mats, baskets of various sizes and shape are some of the examples of things made entirely from various parts of the plant.
The information centre, located in Kampung Kasugira, also holds exhibitions on handicrafts made out of the sago plant and a demonstration on how to make sago delicacies. If you’re ever in the quaint district of Kuala Penyu, be sure to swing by!