The Great Web of Percy Harrison Fawcett. This logo is a trademark of "The Great Unknown, The Great Explorers" and "The Great Web of Percy Harrison Fawcett" - All Rights Reserved

The Great Web of Percy Harrison Fawcett. This logo is a trademark of "The Great Unknown, The Great Explorers" and "The Great Web of Percy Harrison Fawcett" - All Rights Reserved

 

The nearest Long House community in Kuching

Kampung Benuk Padawan now and then

 

Heads cut off by headhunters, Kuching, Sarawak 1984

The Gawai Festival

 

Small video clips below concerning the activities in the long house

Procedure for cleaning up the rice by the tenants

Preparation and the cleaning of the rice

Human heads cut off by head hunters

The surrounding area of the long house

 

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Myself with Abeng that was driving me to the long house one 

day of September 1983, Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia

 

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Manos one morning in the Long House community, Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia

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Manos while crossing a bamboo bridge near the long house with Kong Kong and Barry at his back, Sarawak, Borneo

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Myself and Irene in Abeng's room in the long house, September 1983

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Abeng and Manos ready to go hunting wild monkeys near the long house, August 1983

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Abeng at a young age taking care of the cows in the

Long House community

 

While in Kuching I had to go and visit the nearby Long House Iban village. The journey takes you through lush green countryside dotted with padi (rice) fields, pepper gardens, rubber plantations, and flanked by rugged jungle-clad mountains. 

 

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The internal corridor of the Long House where most of the preparations are usually done and a procedure for cleaning up the rice by the tenants of the long house, Kuching, Sarawak 1984

 

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Left: Mother and father (chief of the long house) of Abeng as they look today. Right: The long house as it appears today, Kuching, Sarawak 2010

 

The son of the village's Chief named Abeng took us there one day. Longhouses are where many of the indigenous people of Sarawak still live. They are basically a community under one roof. There is one large long building that is divided into individual "houses" at the back and the front is all one big communal area that is used for socializes and working. In this Long House we met Abeng's father and mother and closing the introduction Abeng's wife is my wife's godmother.

 

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In the long house watching the native tradition of preparation and 

the cleaning of the rice by the local tenants with the help of Abeng

Kuching, Sarawak 1984

 

Heads cut off by headhunters, Kuching, Sarawak 1984   Back to top

I was able to see the special hut that human heads, cut off by the head hunters when they were living in that territory before the seventies, had been kept hidden and away from the local natives as they would not dare to go in there scared from the spirits of those killed people. I was informed by Abeng that the key of that hut was in the hands of the chief of the village that was his father so one day when I asked him when we will be able to visit the interior of this hut, Abeng took me there one day for further introduction.

 

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The hut with the human heads that were cut off by head hunters 

abiding in the jungle area of Kuching's borders, Sarawak 1984

 

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Aunty Nora (left) and Sister Lo, wife of Abeng in the long house playing the instruments (gong) for the Gawai ceremony, Kuching, Sarawak 2010

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Sofia, daughter of Abeng, in the long house premises with other neighbors during the Gawai ceremony preparations, Kuching, Sarawak 2010

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Left to right: Abeng's father and chief of the village, Kong Kong, Irene, Li Ching kneeling with the red dress, Jacky and sitting myself with the gun and the bullets, Francis and Barry in the Long House community September 1983

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Li Ching and Irene aiming each other with the hunting guns in the Long House (Abeng's room), September 1983

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Long House: Abeng with the blue stripe blouse and the gun before he goes hunting wild monkeys in the jungle, Abeng's wife Sister Lo with the white blouse in the middle, myself at right and three more natives of the village, September 1983

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Abeng's wife Sister Lo and myself getting down the wooden stairs from the Long House

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Myself getting down the wooden stairs from the Long House

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Irene and myself in the ground floor with the Long House community in the background, September 1983

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Left to right: Barry, myself, Irene, Kong Kong holding the gun and ready to go hunting, Jacky and Li Ching in the Long House community September 1983

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Left to right: Abeng's father and mother, Irene and myself in the Long House community in September 1983

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Left to right: Abeng's father, Kong Kong, myself holding a gun and bullets, Francis, Li Ching kneeling with the red dress, Barry and in sitting position Irene and Jacky in the Long House community September 1983

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The Long House stair case, Kuching, Sarawak, September 1983

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Another scene of the long house early in the morning of a working day for its inhabitants near the Gawai festival, Kuching, Sarawak 2010

 

Abeng and I became close friends and I realized that he was a remarkable and very good man with great knowledge of the nearby jungle's surrounding. He helped me to visit another day the Semengoh Rehabilitation sanctuary where the Orang Utans were to be found in their natural surrounding. During my visit to the Long House I had made some video clips concerning the daily work of the natives and their families there with the help of Abeng.

 

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The video shows the long house as it was during my visit to Kuching in 1984 with Kong Kong climbing down the staircase, the kids playing in the surrounding area and Abeng showing us the cocoa tree in the nearby area

 

The Gawai Festival   Back to top

Gawai is an annual festival held every June in the longhouses of lowland tribes in Sarawak. It is a national event, promoted by local brews and municipalities, but in reality everyone leaves the cities empty to return home or visit friends. Gawai is a harvest festival, a New Year celebration, religious ritual and family reunion all at the same time.

 

Villagers playing with the gong, Long House, Kuching Sarawak 2010

 

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Me and Abeng who escorted me to the airport 

of Kuching, Sarawak on my departure to Athens

 

For any contact with Manos, send him an e-mail at info@phfawcettsweb.org

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