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Kelabit - English
1. tubuq - (noun) offshoot
metubuq - (verb) to propagate
petubuq - (past tense) propagated
Kelabit - Bahasa Malaysia
1. tubuq -
metubuq -
petubuq -



2. Tubuq is also the generic term for plants in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

Apart from the common ginger (liyeh), there is a variety of wild gingers (genus zingiber) known to the Kelabits, used in their cooking or for other medicinal purposes.

The young shoots of Tubuq Berek Siaq (red pig ginger) for instance is eaten as a vegetable and the flower is used as medicine for dogs. But it was unknown to the scientific community until 1998 when Dr. Hanne Christensen together with Dr. Ida Theilade, a botanist specialising in gingers, described it scientifically and published it in the Edinburgh Journal of Botany. They named it the Zingiber Kelabitianum in honour of the Kelabit people. (1) See external image

Wild Ginger Varieties Known to the Kelabits


  1. Ethnobotany of the Iban & Kelabit by Hanne Christensen