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The Saban (pronounce as Sa'ban), are an indigenous race of Sarawak, Malaysia. They are categorised under the Orang Ulu groups and have a close ties with the Kelabit people.

With a population of approximately less than 1,000 people, the Saban considered as one of the smallest ethnic groups in Sarawak. Over the last 20 years, most of them had moved to urban areas (mainly Miri) for better living and employment opportunities. The rest still live in their homeland, Long Banga, Long Puak (formerly known as Long Ballong) and Long Peluan.[1]

Being an offshoot of Kelabit tribes, they share a lot of thing in common especially in term of cultures, traditions and customs. Most can understand the Kelabit language very well due to the similarities with their own.

Some simple phrases in Saban

Phrase Pronunciation English translation
Eek egg I, Me
Ceh You
Mai pah ceh my pah ceh Where are you going
Mau Yes
Am arm No
Non What


  1. ^ Iain F. C. S. Clayre (2008-03-18). "Notes on the Sa'ban Language" (PDF). Borneo Research Bulletin. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 

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