The past of Sabah can be mapped out to about 23-30000 years ago when facts suggests the initial human settlement in the region existed. The history is intermingled with the past of Brunei and the past of Malaysia, to which Sabah was earlier part of and is presently part of respectively. The earliest recorded history of Sabah being part of any organized civilization started in the early 16th century during the prosperous age of the Sultanate of Brunei.
Before this, early inhabitants of the land stayed in primarily tribal societies, though such tribal societies had continued to survive until the 1900s. The eastern part of Sabah was surrendered to the Sultan of Sulu by the Sultan of Brunei in 1658 for the ex helping a triumph over Brunei foes. By the late 19th century, both territories formerly possessed by Sultan of Brunei and Sultan of Sulu were awarded to British syndicate. Sabah became a territory of the United Kingdom in 1888 and consequently became a crown colony until 1963, during which time it was known as North Borneo. On September 16, 1963, Sabah combined with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form the Federation of Malaysia.