Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching

20 November 2014

Iban longhouse with long corridors and several doorways, drums and gongs, colourful textiles and headpieces. 

Rumah Orang Ulu. I met Francis the orang ulu with cool hair at the Orang Ulu longhouse. Francis was an unexpected name, I was hoping for some authentic local names... oh well. He was explaining little details of the house to me and Melia. 

We were sitting outside the big house, behind us were intricate patterns. The big tree represents the whole tribe, each circle is a family and the hornbill on top of the tree is the head of the tribe. 

The Melanau Tall House fascinated me the most for its height and hugeness. A lady told me this house is a miniature of the original tall house which is four times bigger. How?! In fact the whole tribe stays inside the house. The rooms are around 3 meters off the ground to avoid the attack of beasts and enemies. Every house is a little village. 

This is the clinic where people come for medication and treatment. 
(P/S spot the thin tiny staircase on the left).

The kitchen is shared and the yellow bed is reserved for newlyweds. Apparently when a couple is getting married, they'll spend the special night in this room upstairs, all luxurious and undisturbed.

Their staircases amazed and scared me. Basically they are made from a tree trunk and could be only as wide as my foot. They are pretty sturdy but slippery and steep.

Traditional clothing made from wood. 

Information

Open daily from 9am to 5pm
The cultural performance: 11.30am and 4.00pm

Ticket
Remember to bring your student card if you have one! Ticket price for the public is RM60 for adult, RM30 for children and for students it's only RM15. For RM15, you'll enjoy every facility in the village as well as watching the cultural performance but they won't give you a map and a passport in which you can collect stamps from every rumah. Aww I wanted that. 

Transport
Public transport is mysterious here. The bus didn't come on time. Taxi is recommended but expensive. Our friend Vivian sent us there and we met a kind tour guide who let us tumpang his van.

http://www.scv.com.my/main.asp


The diversity and culture of each tribe are amazing, somehow they develop into different identifies though living on the same piece of land. Coincidentally they have so much in common: their cursive art, symbolic meaning of the flora and fauna, use of medicinal plants, gratitude to the nature, rituals, similar dances and even their unique rainforest music. It's the people and their lifestyle that make a place special. 

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