LIFE IN THE LONGHOUSE Dedicated to- International Coffee Hour Program Presented by- Tisna Tajudin
INTRODUCTION Malaysia is divided into peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak Sabah and Sarawak are located in Borneo Island Population of native people in Malaysia are concentrated on Borneo Lifestyle of the native people differ than Malaysian in the peninsular This presentation focus on longhouse a unique way of living by the native people
LONGHOUSE Most are situated off the Skrang, Lemanak, Batang Ai and Rejang River areas A typical longhouse is a long, one-story dwelling, covered by single roof usually woven of fronds from the ubiquitous sago palm. Longhouse can stretch as long as a city block and have five hundred people living in it, or it can house a community as small as a few dozen.
PEOPLE There are 27 distinct indigenous ethnic groups that speak 45 different languages and dialects The Iban are the most famous of Sarawak's ethnic groups. They were once the legendary warriors of Borneo; the most feared of the headhunting tribes.
PEOPLE There are 26 other tribes. There are the Bidayuh, formerly known as the "Land Dayaks", who so enchanted the first White Rajah with their gentleness. Then there are the Melanau fisherman of the littorals of Central Sarawak, and the multitude of upriver tribes who collectively form the Orang Ulu (people of the headwaters); the nomadic Penan, guardians of the rainforest
CULTURAL LIFESTYLE Families live in large rooms located off a main hall, a kind of social center that stretches the length of the entire building. During the day, residents are out working in the fields or forest, the main hall is mostly empty, a peaceful, somnolent space of cool refuge. Young children playing quietly on intricately woven matts, always watched by an older member of the community. In an environment where respect for each other's space is essential to a healthy community, even the family dogs seem to honor each other's small territory.
CULTURAL LIFESTYLE At night, just after supper, the main hall livens up. Families come out to socialize and guests gather in front of the chief's room. The chief's home is almost always in the dead center of the building, and is often distinguished by a fetish of antique human skulls - a reminder of the days when the Iban and other tribes in Borneo practiced headhunting. The practice faded quickly following the arrival of colonialism and the White Rajas of Sarawak, who actively discouraged it. When there are visitors, the Iban will peform traditional dances and music, drink spicy rice wine (which can go to your head with remarkable speed) then close off the evening by offering some handmade crafts for sale. There is no obligation to buy anything, but the goods made in the longhouse are almost always better and cheaper than similiar items you'll see in the cities.
CULTURAL LIFESTYLE People here live communally Divorce, for example, is a simple affair. When it happens (which is almost never), there are no prolonged litigious procedures, no child-wrenching custody battles. The unhappy party simply informs the chief, gathers up his or her few possessions - a bundle of clothes, some floor matts - then heads off to another room or back to their own family's longhouse. Children stay with the mother, always.
WONDERS OF BORNEO ISLAND Orang utan- pongo pygmaeus better known to the world as orang utan. Orang utan means "man of the forest" in Malay and these fascinating and very human ginger apes gave rise to the legend of the Wild Man of Borneo.
WONDERS OF BORNEO ISLAND The Rafflesia - World's Largest Flower T he Rafflesia is the largest flower in the world, measuring up to 1 metre (3.5 ft) in diameter when in bloom. Can be found in forests on the Main Range in Peninsular Malaysia as well as in Sabah and Sarawak. A parasite by nature, the plant lives by infecting the roots. The flower takes many months to develop, and the open bloom – which lasts only for a few days – looks like deat meat, crawling with maggots when it starts to rot.
WONDERS OF BORNEO ISLAND Niah Cave-prehistoric inhabitants evidence Humans inhabited Niah Great Cave 40,000 years ago. Today, local Penan tribesmen venture into the cave to collect edible birds nests and the guano dropped by the myriad swiftlets and bats that live there. Evidence of prehistoric inhabitants in the Painted Cave where human figures drawn on the wall watch over grave sites where the dead were laid in boat-shaped coffins.