Monsopiad is a Kadazandusun warrior who is well-known to be a headhunter. There is a memorial dedicated to him at Penampang, Sabah, Borneo.
The legend of Monsopiad
Legend told that many centuries ago, a lady named Kizabon was pregnant. She lived in a house with her husband, Dunggou. On the roof of their house, a sacred Bugang bird made its nest and stayed there throughout Kizabon's pregnancy.
When the child was due to be born, the Bugang birds hatched as well. The father of the child took the sign as a good omen and that this was a sign that his newborn son would have special powers. He named his son, Monsopiad. The father paid special care to the birds as well, and whenever his son took a bath, Dunggou would take the young birds down from their nest to have a bath with his son. When done, he later returned them to the safety of their nest. This was done diligently until the birds were strong enough to leave the nest.
The young boy grew up in the village Kuai (which is the grounds of the Village). His maternal grandfather was the headman of the village.
However, their village was often plundered and attacked by robbers and due to the lack of warriors in the village, the villagers had to retreat and hide while the robbers ransacked their homes.
But for Monsopiad, things were different. He was given special training and he turned out to be an excellent fighter and grew up to become a warrior. Well-equipped, he vowed to hunt down and fight off the warriors that had terrorized his village for so long. He will bring back their heads as trophies, he claimed, and hang them from the roof of his house!
All he wanted in return was a warrior's welcome, where his success will be heralded by the blowing of bamboo trumpet. In order to prove that he really did as promised, three boys went with him as witnesses.
Just as he had promised, Monsopiad's journey to rid his village of the robbers was a huge success and upon coming home, he was given a hero's welcome. He was so honored by the welcome that he proclaimed he will destroy all enemies to his village.
Over the years, Monsopiad soon attained a reputation and there were no robbers or evil warriors who dared to challenge him. However, the urge to kill had gotten into Monsopiad's head and he simply could not stop himself from beheading more people. Very soon, he started provoking other men into fighting him so that he would have an excuse to kill and behead them.
With his changed attitude, all the villagers and his friends became afraid of him. Left with no choice, the village got a group of brave warriors together and they plan to eliminate Monsopiad. Much as they respected Monospiad for his heroic deeds, yet they had no choice for he had slowly turned into a threat.
One night as planned, the warriors moved in for the kill as Monsopiad was resting in his house. As they attacked him, he fought back fiercely but realized that he had lost his special powers that were bestowed upon him by the Bugang bird. By abusing his gift, he was left powerless and it was that very night that Monsopiad's life ended.
Despite his downfall, the villagers still loved Monsopiad for all that he had done for them. All in all, he collected 42 heads and a great feat that was! In honor and memory of a once great warrior, a monument was erected and the village was renamed after him.