Penans of Apoh-Tutoh, Baram

by KC Ling & Laing Imang



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/3/2023

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.5x8.5
Page Count : 130
ISBN : 9781543773224
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 130
ISBN : 9781543773231

About the Book

Sarawak has a very diverse population comprising of many races and ethnic groups. Among the ethnic groups, the Orang Ulu (meaning upriver people) include the major Kayan and Kenyah, and the minor group like the Penans. The Penans are the original nomadic people; some of them still maintain the lifestyle of hunter and gatherer. The narration of this book is not meant to be an anthropological study of the Penans of Apoh-Tutoh, Baram. The subjects are more of general interest to common people as they are a mix of historical events recalled by the elders, storytelling and tall tales. It started with the Penan settlements at Lapok, Tinjar and the migration to Apoh-Tutoh. The role of the Penans as proxy warriors in the Kayan-Berawan tribal wars was explored as continued with the history of head hunting and Baram Regatta. The White Rajahs and their punitive expeditions (Lang, Sadok and Kayan) against the Sea Dayak of Saribas and Skrang, Rentap, the Kayans of Rajang and peace making are described to give perspective to the Baram Regatta and peace-making ceremony. However, there is increasing number of the Penans who have abandoned the nomadic lifestyle for settlements in longhouses. Hence, the Penans face the dilemma of a semi-settled lifestyle and changes due to development such as disappearing cultural heritage (sign sticks “oroo” and traditional dance “saryau titut”), lost generation (school dropouts, teenage mother, marriage with outsiders, sexual violence and exploitation and alcoholism), forestry issues and the disappearing Penan Landscape (“Tana’ Pengurip Penan”).

About the Author

KC Ling was born in Tatau, a small rural town, and now lives in Miri City, Sarawak, Borneo. He took up forestry and graduated from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (renamed Universiti Putra Malaysia) in 1981. After graduation, he went to seek work and adventure in Sabah when logging in Sabah was at its peak. He returned to Miri in 1986 and continued to work in the forestry sector since then. He has an insider’s perspective on the trends and development issues of forestry in Sarawak. His empathy with the local community and affinity for nature was due to his rural boyhood mixing with children of other ethnic groups and roaming around the nearby river and jungle. Laing Imang, his co-author, was born in Long Bemang, a Kayan settlement in the interior of Baram, Sarawak, Borneo. He is a trained forest surveyor and has worked closely with KC Ling in the same timber company for more than two decades. Both have shared experiences in their course of engaging with the local communities and trekking in the jungle of Borneo.