Orang Ulu tribe – Kenyah

Information taken from Marudi’s Fort Hose (Baram District’s Museum)

The Kenyah migrated to the Baram from Balungan in Indonesia Borneo.They inhabited the lower and upper basin, among other places; Long Sebatu, Long Akah, Long Ulai, Long Kaput and Long Pasong. A later group from Bukit Burak settled in Lepo Ka’aung, Lepo  Gak, Lapo Tau, Lepo Ayak and numerous places in the Baram and Tinjar rivers respectively.

The Kenyah build tall wooden longhouses with roofs of wood shingle.

An example of the Orang Ulu house. Taken at Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching.

An example of the Orang Ulu house. Taken at Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching by Alyssa Chin.

The longhouse is built by the inhabitants themelves and are normally sited on high elevations near the river bank. The Kenyah are stratified community with the noble family known as ikelau the commoners are called panyen. The Kenyah consist of many tribes and clans collectively called Lepa, Badong, Uma, Berawan, Sebop, Umang, Sening and Murik.

The planting of hill padi on a swidden cycle is the main agricultural activity of the Kenyah. Other cash crops planted are rubber, pepper, cocoa and coffee. The traditional Kenyah practise the adet while some have accepted Christianity.

The Kenyah are very good at making of decorative art work and handicrafts. These include the carvings on wood,

Wood carvings by Kenyah tribe. Retrieved from http://www.markajohnson.com/ex_SF-2007a.JPG

deer horns on sword-handles,

beadwork,

Kenyah bead work. Retrieved from http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDk2WDc0Ng==/$(KGrHqN,!rcFBFMqbeQ0BQUbwMsgIg~~60_3.JPG

painting of shield,

the production of large designs of low reliefs on wood to adorn houses,

Traditional motives on the longhouse wall. Taken at Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching by Alyssa Chin,

Traditional motives on the longhouse wall. Taken at Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching by Alyssa Chin,

padi huts, gun wales of boats and tombs.

The Sebop are expert in making carved doors with animal motifs.

Examples of door carvings. Retrieved from http://borneoartifact.com/images/WD052g.JPG

Bead works are used to decorate sa’ ong hats,

ajat baskets,

Among the ajat baskets available for sale till this day. Taken by Alyssa Chin at Fort Hose, Baram DIstrict Museum, Marudi.

Among the ajat baskets available for sale till this day. Taken by Alyssa Chin at Fort Hose, Baram DIstrict Museum, Marudi.

bo’ baby carriers.

and necklaces

The Kenyah musical instruments consist of the sape,

Among the sape from Sg. Asap. Taken by Alyssa Chin at Marudi during Baram Regatta 2011.

Sape. Taken by Alyssa Chin at Marudi during Baram Regatta 2011.

kedirek (mouth organ),

Also known as Keluri. Retrieved from http://melodyofborneo.blog.com/files/2011/08/keluri.jpg

keringut (nose-flute),

jatung utang

Kenyah boys playing jatung utang. Retrieved from http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/44/113044-004-A897BEA1.jpg

and gongs.

The long dance or datun julut is a hornbill feathers dance while sagah ngayau is a one man war-dance. These activities may be done with songs during the festive occasions, merry making time and when welcoming guests to the village.

 

 

Reference list:

Johnson, M. A. Woodcarvings. Retrieved from http://www.markajohnson.com/ex_SF-2007a.JPG

Art Gallery of NSW. (2010). Deer horn sword handle. Retrieved from http://m.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/media/collection_images/5/541.2010%23%23S.jpg

Ebay. Kenyah Bead Work. Retrieved from http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDk2WDc0Ng==/$(KGrHqN,!rcFBFMqbeQ0BQUbwMsgIg~~60_3.JPG

National Gallery of Australia. (n.d.)Warrior shield. Retrieved from http://nga.gov.au/exhibition/LIFEDEATHMAGIC/Images/400/198696.jpg

Ebay. (n.d.) Six Museum Quality Door Wall Panel Borneo Home Rest House Garden Architecture. Retrieved from http://borneoartifact.com/images/WD052g.JPG

Borneo Artifact. (2010). Large Kayan Sa’ong Hat Bead & Nipah Borneo Artifact #3. Retrieved from http://borneoartifact.com/images/AW0150c.JPG

David Said P/L. (2012). Borneo Baby Carrier. Retrieved from http://www.tribalartbrokers.net/praisetribal/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/borneo_baby_carrier_151__4212-244×300.jpg

Penemuruai.com. (2009). Kenyah Beads?”Ino pu`un”- Kenyah Language. Retrieved from http://img1.photographersdirect.com/img/9540/wm/pd468679.jpg

Melody of Borneo. (n.d.) The Sape’ in the Musical Life of the Orang Ulu – Part 1. Retrieved from http://melodyofborneo.blog.com/files/2011/08/keluri.jpg

Di’s Travelogue Blog. (2011). Post 7: Going Batty On Borneo! Retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a9pqZnLgxcI/Th9D0lWq4mI/AAAAAAAAAJE/E_Sco34PI1s/s400/blowing+nose+flute.JPG

Britannia.com. (n.d.) Kenyah boys playing jatung utang. Retrieved from http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-media/44/113044-004-A897BEA1.jpg

Fascinating Malaysia. Tetawak. Retrieved from http://www.fascinatingmalaysia.com/gifs/unik/tanak.gif

 

2 thoughts on “Orang Ulu tribe – Kenyah

  1. Nice insight on the Orang Ulu people. Especially liking the shot of the Orang Ulu house at Sarawak Cultural Village. Good info with lots of pictures to match.

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