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
Myself with Abeng that was driving me to the long house one
day of September 1983, Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The hut with the human heads that were cut off by head hunters
abiding in the jungle area of Kuching's borders, Sarawak 1984
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
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
in the nearby area
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.
playing with the gong, Long House, Kuching Sarawak 2010
Me and Abeng who escorted me to the airport
of Kuching, Sarawak on my departure to Athens
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