Facts about of longhouses

Friday, March 6, 2009
My Long———————-house
Posted by purpLe.GirL at 9:13 PM
Now: 1.42pm Sat, 7th of March.

I’m alone in my room because my roommate went back to Sarawak already. Oh i miss Kuching so much but what can I do, just sitting here in front of my lappy and trying to be in Sarawak mentally.. *huhhh how pity* So, here i am.. storytelling you about my house, my longhouse, the Iban longhouse.

Looooooooonggghouse? Is this long enough? hehehe.. Anyway, while searching in the internet about longhouse, it is such a surprise for me that the Westerners are very interested in longhouse because they just can’t imagine how hundreds of people living harmoniously under one roof. But then again, maybe because they live life individually, that’s why they are impressed by our life style.

Facts about Iban long house:

1. Long house is not only can be found in Iban community but also in other Dayak community such as Bidayuh, Orang Ulu etc

2. It usually faces the river.

3. Chief of long house is called as tuai rumah. Any wrong doings or matters in the long house can be refer to tuai rumah.

4. Every rumah panjai usually has a few main parts, namely the bilik, ruai, tanju, sadau and dapur. Bilik is a family living room which is separated with other bilik by wall. Ruai is in front of bilik but no wall. So it is a big open space in long house. Usually it is used by the longhouse members to held activities during gawai festival or any other gathering. Sadau is the small space above the bilik and functions to store family possesions like mats, cane baskets etc. In the olden days, tibang (huge bins) that contains padi is stored here too. Tanju is adjacent to ruai except that tanju has no roof. It is unprotected from the sun because it is the place where padi that has been harvested is winnowed and sunned before being stored in tibang. Dapur is the kitchen.

5. As many of the longhouses are situated deep in the Sarawak forest, the only accesible transportation is by boat ride. The boat used is called perahu which is a long and thin boat.

Nowadays, many long house is modernised. The design might be the same as the old design but now you can easily find long house which is made of brick. These longhouses are equiped with modern electrical devices and usually easily accessible by cars.

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