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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

HoLiDaY to SaraWaK - Part 5- uLu LoNgHouSe-

This painted pole stands on the widest part of the porch, directly across from the quarters of the village chief. It depicts the Chief's family tree.

The corridor

A elaborate shield such as this one is for use by the village chief.

Orang Ulu, “up-river dwellers”, is a useful if vague term to describe the central Borneo people living in Sarawak. Accounting for 5.5% of the total population, the orang Ulu comprises the Penan, the Kayan and Kenyah, living in the middle and upper reaches of Sarawak's longest rivers, the Kelabit and Lun Bawang groups in the highlands proper. In the past, the orang Ulu were famous throughout the region as sword-smiths. They extracted iron from the ore found in their area, they forged it into excellent blades which they tempered in the cold mountain streams. Traditionally, an orang Ulu longhouse was built to last. Many of these people practise settled agriculture, and have developed rice field irrigation to a fine art. This makes the search for new farmlands unnecessary. The solid ironwood houses are designed to last for many generations


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