Friday, 8 April 2011

Sarawak Part 2 - Iban Longhouse by Dirk and Jenny Limman

This is the Sarawak Part 2 write up from Dirk and Jenny for the authentic Iban Longhouse trip. Again, we thank you for joining us, and we are glad that you and Jenny are enjoying yourselves at the longhouse. It is a memorable trip for us as well, because we can see that you felt 'home' not long after arriving at the longhouse and we are glad that you had the experience that you wanted.

Note that this is an actual write up from our guest. Caption on pictures for both Bidayuh Village and Iban Longhouse are done by us for better elaboration. Please respect their rights when you are about to use any of the words or photos. The photos or text shall not be used for promotional, marketing and/or any commercial purposes, or reproduced without prior permission from the author. An acknowledgment to the author with reference to this blog is appreciated when shared with your friends and family. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Part 2

The second trip was to an authentic Iban longhouse at the Batang Ai reservoir. From Kuching it took us several hours by van followed by a long-boat ride for one hour and finally a 10 minutes walk to reach the village.

The Long Boat Ride

Iban Longhouse - View From Outside
Inside the Longhouse
Tattoo on the Iban
The longhouse was quite run down, very primitive and dirty. But soon we felt "at home" because of the friendliness of the Ibans and their fantastic cooking. Even at an outing in the jungle they served us delicious food, mainly harvested from the bush and the river, and cooked in bamboo tubes and barbequed on open fire. 

River Trekking

Lunch Site at the Jungle

Barbeque Lunch with Tradisional Iban Dish - 'Pansuh' Chicken, chicken cooked in bamboo

The long house accommodated 30 families. Each of them, including us, stayed in one single room with a small open kitchen and a "bath" room at the back. The rough floor planks were covered with bamboo mats. Everything took place here, chit chatting, eating and sleeping. 

Inside the Room

Cooking Area, Iban ladies preparing food

Dinner with the Ibans

Main communication centre and working place was the long covered veranda stretching in front of all the individual rooms. Here the Ibans communicate, sharpen their tools, mending nets, weaving mats and celebrate in the evening. Rice wine flowed plentifully. The monotonous brass gong and drum music started. Men performed their head-hunters Warrior Dance and the colourfully dressed ladies showed us a Hornbill Dance. The last drunken voice faded way after midnight. 

'The Warrior Dance' Performed by Mr Balai

The Tradisional Iban Dance
Thought to have a quiet night now, the first cock started to crow. It was the prized fighter cock of our host, tied beside the entrance. With every hour more cocks joined in, until at dawn about two dozens cocks competed for the loudest and longest crow.
One night we had a tropical downpour for several hours, hammering the blank zinc roofing above us. Plenty of rust holes allowed the rainwater to drip through. We had to shift our mattress to a drier spot and buckets were put in place. In spite of the loud “plop plop” of the rain drops hitting the bucket directly beside our heads, we finally fell soundly asleep.

The Prized Fighter Cock

Sleeping Area

The Roofing

We wanted to stay in an authentic Iban longhouse and experience their lifestyle.
We got it all.

Dirk & Jenny

We would like to thank you Dirk and Jenny again for the great pictures and write up. They made an effort to contribute and help the villagers by buying handmade products such as bamboo mats, woven baskets and begs. Dirk is a passionate photographer, you can see him with the camera at all times. While Jenny is a sweet lady, she spent time with the Ibans, talked to them as friends and take part in preparing food for the group.

To Dirk and Jenny, the villagers are happy to see the photos that you sent to them, and they thanked you for capturing such beautiful moments for them. From our side, we thank you for the support given and we hope to see you again. 

1 comment:

  1. That was some really good stuff there. I have to admit that there are a lot of great treasures in Sarawak. Look no further...even in Sarawak we have such amazing jewels. Anyways here is something for me to share. Another Batang Ai Longhouse and a very authentic ones...known as Nanga Ukom...