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Orang Utans and their Friends ...

Such gentle, shy creatures are the Orang Utans and they seem to relate well to man; what a pity there aren't more of them, so that they could come to our back doors and feed and bring up their families in harmony with man.

And then what about the Orang Ulu? also an "endangered species", probably only a few thousand left living in the wilds of Borneo.

But no-one seems to care about them .........most people haven't even heard of them. Their natural habitat has been systematically destroyed over the past twenty years  - poor logging practices, soil erosion, lack of agricultural planning and subsidies and general neglect of even their basic needs.

Of course at one time they were virtually self-sufficient and lived almost without contact with the people along the more "civilised" coastal areas; but now they are almost disappearing from their normal habitats - the longhouses of Borneo Inland (Ulu). Yes, these are indeed people - but people with a unique way of life and communal spirit. They used to live from a few hundred up to a thousand per longhouse, but now in the very same longhouses you would be lucky to find even one hundred on a normal day .....

It's only on the high days and holidays now that the longhouses come alive again, as hundreds flock back to their ancestral homes to join in ceremonies and feastings and weddings and good old chit-chat about their tribal matters and the direction life is taking them nowadays.

Kelabit, Kenyah, Kayan, Murut, Punan, and many more sub-tribes were based inland up the big rivers; nowadays more than half of them have migrated to the big cities, mostly living in squatter type houses and working as labourers, shop assistants and office workers - dependent on their level of education at the longhouse.

Stay at TreeTops Lodge, run by Orang Ulu 

                            (click on underlines to go there)

 

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