Iban parangs, tasty grubs and longhouses; Final

An Iban elder taking rest from the hot day in the long house

I doubt if I can get over the parangs used by the Ibans, jungle food and the long houses in Batang Ai. Just a couple of weeks after the trip and already I am thinking of going back. There is simply too many things I wanna see, learn and experience still. As brief as this trip may be…I think the group of us ‘visitors’ had a really good time, hosted by these lovely people.
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Traditional furnace of the Bidayuhs in Semban, Sarawak

Here is a video of a traditional furnace which belongs to the Bidayuhs in Semban Sarawak. Local guide and villager Glen and his father was kind enough to setup the furnace just to demonstrate how their old furnace works. The feathers on the ‘plungers’ are not from chickens but from a particular type of raptor.

Many apologies for the poor sound recording.

The kitchen and bamboo blades in Semban. Part V-2

Kitchen knives used by the Bidayuh women in Semban

I was equally astounded by the traditional blades used by the Bidayuh women in Semban. While the shapes of the blades are quite the same to their ‘bigger’ parang cousins, the method in which they are used is artistic. But the biggest surprise to me had to be the use of bamboo as a cutting tool.

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The Bidayuh’s traditional cutting tools in Semban, Sarawak. Part V-1

The hilt of a Bidayuh’s Parang…wait till you see the rest!

The cutting tools used by the Bidayuhs in Semban are really unique and inspiring. From large Parangs to kitchen knives, there are even ‘non-metal’ cutting tools still being used by these amazingly beautiful people. To me, they are true testaments of how a deep understanding and appreciation of life and the world around enables the creation of functional and practical tools. Amazing? You bet!

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