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Around Kuching ~ Sarawak Cultural Village


With increasing numbers of young tribal people being tempted from their longhouses into the modern sectors of the economy, many of Sarawak’s cultural traditions and crafts have begun to die out. The Sarawak cultural Village or Kampung Budaya Sarawak was developed by the Sarawak Development Corporation as an initiative to preserve cultural traditions and teach the old crafts to the new generations.

The concept had the added appeal of creating a ‘money spinning’ instant Sarawak for the benefit of tourists lacking the tome or inclination to head into the jungles. This ‘living museum’ contains some superb examples of traditional architecture and lifestyles of the various tribes and ethnic groups in Sarawak. It should be on the sightseeing agenda of every visitor to Sarawak, if only to provide an introduction to the cultural traditions of all the main ethnic groups in Sarawak.

Each tribal group is represented by craftsmen and women who produce handicrafts and practice traditional skills in houses built to carefully researched design specifications. Many authentic everyday articles have been collected from longhouses all over Sarawak. In one case to preserve a culture that is effectively dead today – the Melanau people all live in Malay style kampungs, but a magnificent traditional wooden Melanau house has been built here and is the only such building in Sarawak. Alongside it there is a demonstration of traditional sago processing. A resident Melanau craftsman makes sickness images (blum) – each representing the spirit of the illness, which were floated downriver as part of the healing ritual.

There is also the Bidayuh, Iban, and Orang Ulu longhouses, depicting the lifestyles of each group. In each there are textiles or basket weavers, wood carvers or sword makers. There are exhibits of beadwork, bark clothing and tuak rice wine) brewing. At the Penan there is a demonstration of blowpipe making and visitors are invited to test their hunting skills. There is a Malay house and even a Chinese Farmhouse with a pepper garden alongside.

Visitors are given a "Passport" which contains a description of the seven authentic ethnic houses built around a serene man­made lake complete with live-in residents. The tour of the houses, seven in all (you can collect a stamp from each one for your passport) is capped with a cultural show held in the theatre which is air-conditioned. There is a restaurant that serves selected traditional Sarawakian food and the handicraft shop offers fine Sarawak handicrafts and souvenirs.

The cultural village is also the venue for the fabulous annual rainforest music festival (www. rainforestmusic-borneo.com) which takes place sometime between June and August. Food stall are laid on, jamming sessions are held in the different sections culminating in a great stage show in the grounds for the evening.




Cultural shows (twice daily) - 11:30 am to 12:15 pm and 4:30 pm to 5:15pm.
 Entrance - RM45 for an adult & RM 22.5O for a child (6-12 years old),
Location: Located at the foot of the legendary Mt Santubong, about 35 km from Kuching, or about half an hour's drive.

 

 

[Sarawak Cultural Village] [Orang Utans & Crocodiles] [Bako National Park] [Kubah National Park] [Gunung Gading National Park] [Talang Satang Turtle Islands] [Batang Ai National; Park]

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