Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bidayuh Longhouse At Kampung Annah Rais

After our exciting Crocodile Farm visit, we were taken to the Kampung Annah Rais Longhouse!

Annah Rais long house is well known for its beautiful natural surroundings and the uniqueness of the life style of its villagers, the Bidayuh, one of the many ethnic groups found in Sarawak. 

It also has a homestay, right in the middle of the longhouse community

If you are keen to experience life on a longhouse and partake of longhouse food and activities, contact them!
We have reached the entrance to the Kpg Annah Rais...the most accessible longhouse left behind in almost original condition
 you can see the road leading to the long house, on not be fooled, it is a VERY LONG longhouse!!

Bidayuh is one of the largest Dayak ethnic group in Sarawak after the Iban, they are known as the Land Dayaks, expert in agriculture and hunting.  They are mainly saturated in the area of Padawan. Anna Rais is further inside the Padawan district which make sense that why there are lots of corns, sugar canes, pineapples, papaya, palm, hill-padi (rice), etc planted along the way to the Longhouse. It is approximately 35Km from Kota Padawan (the small city, about 10 miles from Kuching town).

We have entered the long is actually many individual houses joined by a common walkway
the walkway or floor is made of bamboo!!!
As a welcome drink, we were served tuak!
tuak is rice wine, sold ar RM10 per bottle, and it is quite potent!!!

 Cheers!!! I could not finish it, Jen is grimacing at the taste, but it is yummy!!!

 You can buy and taste local tidbits and delicacies
 and taste strange fruits too, that is David, our temporary tour guide and driver

 lots of workshops and houses all around

 Interestingly, the longhouse is inhabited by approximately 120 families of diverse faiths such as Islam and Christianity, thus making it unique. In fact, some residents are atheists and believe in animism. The 1,000 inhabitants of the longhouse are believed to share similar ancestor. Just like the residents of other longhouses, the Bidayuh community celebrates Hari Gawai on 1st June of each year. Usually, those who have migrated to Sabah or Peninsular Malaysia will return home to celebrate the festive occasion together with their families.

We are now going into the HEADHOUSE!!!!

 The Headhouse or Panggah actually houses a hanging baskets of shrunken human skulls!!!
 Sarawak used to be called the land of the head hunters!!!!

"Before, the womenfolk were prohibited from entering the skull house for fear that their presence could weakened the warriors. The Panggah at Annah Rais Longhouse was built more than 170 years ago. Its main pillars which were made from berlian wood remain strong despite being 200 years old. At one time, a small cannon was presented as a token of friendship by the Brunei Sultanate during the reign of the Brooke family. This historical cannon which was carved with a logo engraved with the words Pieters eest Anno 756 in both Arabic and roman charactersis placed at thePanggah's entrance."

 Whoa!!! the only other place you can see skulls is the Tuol Seng Prison in Cambodia, relics of the Khmer Rouge Regime.  But here right in the middle of the longhouse, a wire basket actually has a number of human skulls!!!
Formerly, the longhouse used to hold numerous number of skulls belonging to their foes which was synonymous of the history of the head hunters. At that time, the bravery and valour of the Bidayuh were measured by the number of enemies that were beheaded and heads brought home. TheBaruh or Panggah which means 'rumah kepala' or 'skull house' was built as a storage for the skulls. "

Initially, the skulls were arranged on a special rack in the middle of the Panggah and later bequeathed from one generation to another. However, all these skulls have been buried now."
 Jen plucks up courage to be photographed beside them, she cannot pass up the chance to snapchat it
 she has survived the ordeal and is ready to tour the rest of the longhouse
 we pass by an old lady who still stays in the longhouse, many youngsters have left for studies in Peninsular Malaysia or gone to town to set up new lives
 The settlement is the oldest in Sarawak as it has existed more than 200 years ago. The traditional architectural design of the Bidayuh longhouses has continued to be preserved. This settlement is less than one and a half hours away from Kuching City.

 some handicrafts for sale
 this boy actually stays in Damansara in Petaling Jaya and is on his vacation break so he comes back to his longhouse, the door behind him is his family home and has been for the last 100 years.
 I am tempted to get this table runner with the Bidayuh design
 In the end I opted for the similarly designed batik sarong. I Have attracted many ladies to the souvenir stall and some actually bought a sarong like mine too.
 Jenn got this beautiful necklace

Mine is red and black to match my outfit (RM28) and Jen's is more pricey, at RM65!
 Happy with our new purchases!
 Ernest Zacharevic the infamous mural painter has been here too!

 lots of interconnected bridges
 leading to individual houses

 some houses are modernised like this one...
 but, thankfully, most are still kept in authentic condition, which is what tourists come to see...


 The rooms in the longhouse are quite simple, equip with kitchen, dining and sleeping areas.  Upon entering the Annah Rais Longhouse, visitors will pass through the kitchen first. The latter is connected to the living room which functions as a sleeping area as well. The washroom is located at the far-end of the longhouse.
 a Bidayuh family???

Most of their activities are done outside, at the corridor of the longhouses such as dining, selling, chatting, playing as well as drying their corns and home made crackers.

 pods sunning on the verandah
 A surprising find: a modern cement and brick house in the longhouse!!! It stuck out like a sore thumb!
 this is how the beads necklaces are made...

 the fastest time she can make one necklace is half a month!!!
 The attic is used as a storage for handicrafts like tambok; a
 basket that is strapped to the back of the carrier and used 

to carry produce and kelasah; a rattan mat.

 David has finished showing us the entire longhouse!
 We have left  the longhouse behind...
We are ready to go to the hotspring now!!!!

Annah Rais Longhouse
No.71, Kampung Annah Rais
Jalan Borneo Height
Padawan, 94200
Sarawak, Malaysia

1 comment:

law fung yee said...

Dear Miss,

Hi, I'm fy, A master student from Unimas in Kuching. Now I am doing a study in Bario, Kampung Annah Rais and Kampung Mongkos in Kuching. I found that you ever been to Kampung Annah Rais before. Therefore, I would like to invite you to fill a survey regards service quality in Kampung Annah Rais and yours satisfaction and destination revisit intention to serve my thesis’s purpose. I would be very appreciating that if you can give a hand to help. You can fill the questionnaire using the link as shown as below. Thanks.