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Borneo, Sarawak, Sarawakian

Learn the history of the Orang Ulu community

IF you haven’t already, do check out “The Ulu and the Museum : Photographs of the Baram and Tinjar” exhibition at the Sarawak Museum’s Art Gallery.

The exhibition, which runs until May 27, features photographs of the Kenyah, Kayan and Berawan communities taken in the Baram and Tinjar.

It depicts the daily struggles of the Orang Ulu from the 1950s to 1980s and it really fascinating stuff.

It is great that the Sarawak Museum’s research photos are being exhibited together as it really is a comprehensive collection.

They include images of traditional designs and carvings, musical instruments, religious ceremonies, and longhouses, supported by texts about the rural area compiled by researchers in the last 100 years.

The settlements covered include Long San, Long Loyang, Long Sobeng, Long Makabar, Long Selatong and the old village of Long Buroi.

Minister of Social Development Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom rightly pointed out that the cultural resources of Sarawak should be preserved for the generations to come.

This is because these resources are not only evidence of the past but also a roadmap for the future.

Sarawak Museum director Ipoi Datan pointed out that many of the places depicted would have changed dramatically beyond recognition due to the dynamic pace of socioeconomic development.

This is such a good point because if we cannot compare things to the past, we often forget how far our State has developed and transformed.

That’s why exhibitions such as this are such a great reminder of where we have come from and where we are headed.

The photographs were originally exhibited at the Miri Library from November 8-15 last year.

If you can’t make it to the museum, you can check out some of the great photographs at flickr.com/photos/theuluandthemuseum.

The story from The Star:

History of the struggle of Orang Ulu to be displayed

KUCHING: Archive photographs of the Baram and Tinjar that depict the daily struggles of the Orang Ulu from the 1950s to 1980s will be displayed in the Art Gallery of the Sarawak Museum starting today.

The exhibition, which will end on May 27, features photographs of the Kenyah, Kayan and Berawan communities.

The images which are exhibited for the first time are all part of a re-search work carried out by the Sa-rawak Museum during the period.

They include images of traditional designs and carvings, musical instruments, religious ceremonies daily life, and longhouses along the river, supported by texts about the “ulu” compiled by researchers in the last 100 years.

The settlements covered include Long San, Long Loyang, Long Sobeng, Long Makabar, Long Selatong, the old village of Long Buroi and others.

The exhibition is organised by the Sarawak Museum Department, the Goethe-Institut Malaysia and the Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus.

For more information, visit flickr.com/photos/theuluandthemuseum or send email to theuluandthemuseum@yahoo.com.

The Bernama report:

Preserve Sarawak’s Cultural Resources, Says Mawan

KUCHING, April 2 (Bernama) — The cultural resources of Sarawak should be preserved for the generations to come as its cultural heritage is not only the tangible and intangible evidence of its past but also a roadmap for the future, State Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan said today.

He said the government and grassroot organisations recognised such a need by collecting, documenting, protecting and maintaining buildings and objects as well as customs and practices, such as “The Ulu and the Museum : Photographs of the Baram and Tinjar” from the Sarawak Museum’s collection.

“This photograhic collection, taken from 1950-1980, is a unique archive and we are all beneficiaries of the Sarawak Museum’s important fieldwork,” he said when officiating at the opening of the exhibition until May 27 this year, organised jointly by the Sarawak Museum and Swinburne University, here.

His text of speech was read by Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang.

Mawan was confident that the material – used by academics to illustrate their research in Sarawak and published in newspapers, magazines and academic journals – would contribute to the public awareness of the cultural aspects of the life of local communities to visitors from Malaysia and abroad.

Earlier Sarawak Museum director Ipoi Datan said the exhibition’s images mainly depicted the Kenyah, Kayan, Sehop and Berawan communities in the Baram and Tinjar Rivers as they went about doing their everyday activities as well as events related to rituals and ceremonies, most of which had long been abandoned.

Among the longhouses covered were Long San, Long Loyang, Long Sobeng, Long Makabar, Long Selatong and Long Buroi.

“I am sure that these places would have changed dramatically beyond recognition from the images taken more than half a century ago due to the dynamic pace of socio-economic development while most of the subjects might have passed on,” he said.

He said the material, which was originally exhibited at the Miri Library from November 8-15 last year, attracted and generated much interest, especially among the Orang Ulu communities as some of them were descendants of the subjects in the images.

The Sarawak Museum has been the centre of research in Sarawak ever since it opened in 1888, serving as the repository of knowledge and point of contact for international, regional and local researchers. – Bernama

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