Every country has their own equivalent of an open air market. Be it the souq of Egypt, the tianguis of Mexico, the raun of New Guinea and the zoma of Madagascar - the tamus of Sabah is a legacy still continued until this very day. Tamu comes from the Malay word “tetamu”, meaning a guest. Pronounced as taa-muu, tamu ground is a place of social gathering for the Sabahans. There’s a record stating tamu to exists way back in 1860. Back during the British Colonial era, aside from a places where farmers and fishermen sell their goods, tamu is where important announcements were made. Local news, information counter and health screening were done here back then.
Today, tamu has become a weekly (or biweekly) market of sorts and a tourist attraction for most places. There’s not much record of when tamu in Tenom started. Perhaps the earliest written note on the origin of tamu in Tenom is when it was introduced by CH Keasberry. Keasberry was Sapong’s estate manager in 1900. Under his tenure not just Sapong but Tenom became a significant trading area. Four shop houses were built and regular tamu was introduced.
Tenom: Every Wednesday & Sunday
Melalap: Every Saturday
Kemabong: Every Saturday