15 October 2010

Rungus Traditional Long House

This is gonna be a very badly-worded entry. I've been running here and there for the last few days so my head was too occupied with a lot of thinking so this entry was more like prepared in between those runs.

Anyway... Just in case you go up north, and you are not stupid enough to think that Kudat is all about Simpang Mangayau, you should at least make some effort to drop by the famous Kudat Traditional Rungus Longhouse.

Hehe. I mean, you’re already there and why don’t just drop by right? After all it’s only about 1km or two from the main road. The last few hundred meters of the access road was being asphalted when I went there so I expect it is now an 100% easy peasy ride.
Oh well, of course, anything that had cost something to build, some entrance fee does apply. After all, it is a place that needs to be maintained and when we’re talking about maintenance, it sure involves constant use of $$$.
Welcoming you at the entrance is this watch tower that reminds me of all the towers that we built at camping sites when I was still a scout boy back at school. OH well, somehow now, I felt my legs trembled by the idea of getting onto it. It didn’t look safe and the columns that they used to support the whole structure seemed so flimsy. But may be, just may be, it was me. If you’re over 71kg and did go up the tower and got off still in one peace, please tell me will ya?
Oh well, it’s very easy to get wowed by the beauty in its architecture. It’s like everything in the house is crafted up to maintain the traditional look in just about everything of it.
Except for this one here I think. I don’t think they had nylon rope back then. :-P
Even the stairs were like wow....
Although it is a homestay, I doubt it really fits the concept considering how no families do stay here in a full-time basis. But of course, they do have rooms for you to stay in.
This one here must be a queen size bed.
And this one – double single bed. Or should we call it 'triple single bed?'.
They actually provide you with extra mattresses just in case you guys are too coward to sleep in a different room. LOLz
Oh well, something so special about Rungus traditional houses are – they are not tightly sealed if you know what I mean. In fact, when I first saw Rungus houses while I was on one of my ‘tour of duty’ trips, I couldn’t help but thinking - How can they ever find their moments of intimacy when there are so many see-through holes all over the house?
A Rungus Traditional Long House at Kg. Maidan, Pitas
Some suggestions did come up among us - They probably do it in the dark - silently. Some friends suggest that they have to go into the jungle to do it so…. There is no impulsively driven sex. They had to arrange for it. LOL. Macam2.. :-P
Another occupied Rungus traditional house at Kg. Maidan, Pitas
Ohh, and they actually provide you with a kitchen. They don’t really torture you with all the ‘breath-taking’ blow-job needed to keep the flames up. In fact, there’s a gas stove as an alternative to the traditional soil stove.
And then, this wall-less dining area. How cool is it to have dinner in the wind? Not to mention – chilled BEER to sip over. :-P
And when did the last time I saw something like this for a source of light? Growing up in what was back then a remote area where electricity was still a ‘myth’ among the villagers; this was one of the very first sources of light that we used (except for the bulb, the one that we used was a gas-fuelled one).
Rest assured for all the ladies out there they actually provide a mirror for you to check out if anything has grown overnight.
I was especially amused by how the walls are made from patches of tree skin.
By looking at how wide the spreads of sheet are, I bet whatever tree they were, they must be very very big. I just hope they didn’t take ‘em from any of those frequently-tresspassed forest reserves.
My only concern was how  the whole building is made of highly-flammable materials.
And this one here doesn’t help much to relieve the fear. *knock on the wood.
The roof was even more amazing to see up-close.
Hand-stitched from either coconut leaves or sago palm (sorry, can't tell the difference), it really is amazing to see how creative can people be back in the early days when metal sheet was still not available.
Some other ethnic groups in Borneo are known to have long houses for a house. It really is easy to differentiate a Rungus long house from the rest actually. They have these wooden sticks sparsely fabricated along the veranda to give such ab open air ventilation. What a perfect place to chill out and to cool off during a hot day.
Ohhh, and there were the gongs! Be sure of how to play 'em IN THE RIGHT TONE AND RYTHMN coz they have their own way of playing it to announce somebody's passing away in the neighbourhood. You wouldn't want to hit the gongs only to be visited by a group of people with parangs in their hands. LOL 
I really thought these bamboo mugs here were for the rice wine. On a second thought, they were actually another traditional music instrument. *forgot the name. Any1? 
Be sure you know the difference lehhh. The is the right mug for rice wine. Hehe.
Oh well, I have had quite a number of Rungus friends back in my Uni days and their story about living in a long house has always fascinated me. Hitting into Rungus villages nowadays can be pretty much disappointing. Just as it is with the rest of the world, wind of change has been blowing into Rungus villages. Can’t really see many of those long houses now. This Maranjak Homestay is only one of the last few and it was built for commercial purposes so taking a walk around is like doing a museum tour or something.
And like a museum it is, there are some traditional gadgets that were put up for display..
And for somebody with an ithcy hand like me to try-on..
Still standing? LOL
While I did recognize most of the items on the display, I just hoped somebody was there to tell me what the hell this stone was there for.
Alright, quite true to its name, the house is sooooooooooooooooooo long and this is the end of it. At least I did cover the whole stretch and completed my little accomplishment of the day. :-D
Right at the entrance/exit of the long house is an area used to sell some handicrafts and souvenirs.
The interest to check them out was there but the ladies who were drinking rice wine were intimidating me with their shrieking voices. I really thought they were in a heated argument or something until one of the sober ones clarified that it is just the way they talk. Wahhhhh. I had to get out of there before I go crazy.
So………. That was my little detour to Kudat Traditional Long House and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
IT is something that you gotta check out at least once in your whole life.

10 comments:

London Caller said...

Interesting building!
Bet the air ventilation is fantastic inside!? Ha ha...

thomas said...

I will definitely check out this beautiful house if i happen to past by one day,who knows?

JIPP said...

London Caller: you bet! LOL! They don't need aircond. hehe.
Thomas: Yupp, you shud Thomas. It's worth it. IN fact it is one of the most visited places in Sabah.

ken said...

yeah.. reminds me of what the scouts back in my school used to build.. :)

JIPP said...

haha. I know Kelvin. We called it 'gadget'. Everything, even the watch tower. LOL.

Kelvin said...

Wats tat pink round thing?

JIPP said...

ohh, it's a mosquito repellent. they put it on a dish. :-P

fufu said...

nice long house! really wish to stay over at least a night there.... gotta bring me to long house when i go visit you ok?

JIPP said...

sure thing fufu. Come to Sabah and we'll go places. :-)

Rahul Patel said...

Nice one. I would love to visit this place. Check out resorts in pench national park also.You will get exclusive places.

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