Adventures in East Asia

Longhouse Visit Part 3 - Educational Evening

Part of what made our visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse and to Mr. Edward's homestay special, was what I call his "Educational Evening". After our delicious dinner, Mr. Edward's joined us in his outdoor (covered) living room, the walls of which hung items of clothing, weapons and other historic, cultural objects.


The plan was for him to give us a bit of background about the Longhouse culture, history and his experiences. He did this accompanied by props that were all around us.


Mr. Edwards brought out a variety of tools, and containers and challenged us to guess how old some items were. A particularly lethal looking dart gun turned out to be for fishing, where the dart shot out, but never left the gun. Of course, the weapons were the most interesting for us what with the head-hunting history of the tribes.



Linh checks out a basket that was once used to carry heads. Apparently, whenever there was a feud or disagreement to be solved, men from the tribes would don their warrior costumes and head out solemnly from the village unquestioned by anyone.


The men would be on a head-hunting mission and would often leave the village for days. If they were successful in capturing the head of their target, it would be kept in this waterproof and airtight basket, to keep the smell from escaping and the blood from leaking.

Soizic and Linh mash up the weapons and cultural headwear.


The illustration on this door looks like any other decoration but Mr. Edwards gave us a fantastic explanation of the story and message behind it, along the theme of welcoming visitors to the Annah Rais Longhouse experience.


Mr. Edwards spent around three hours with us and must have previously recounted all his explanations and stories hundreds of times on countless evenings hosting visitors but he still answered all our questions tirelessly and with humour.

We ended the evening trying out these snacks that he brought out (containing nuts and little dried fish) and sampled some herbal tea called Bekah Beras that was made from tree bark (!)





Next: Longhouse Visit Part 4 - How to Load Double Darts into a Blowdart Weapon

This entry posted in : Culture. History. Malaysian Borneo. Tourism.

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02/02/10  at  01:11 AM
Awww, man! I love those crackers! I ate them when I traveled in Indonesia.
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02/02/10  at  03:06 PM
Mr Edwards told us those crackers were made by his wife, so we thought they were really unique. But then we saw them in supermarkets back in Kuching and we now find out they in Indonesia too!

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