Sarawak Cultural Village is a unique award-winning living museum that
offers an excellent introduction to wide array of local cultures and
lifestyles found in Sarawak.
Located at the foot of the legendary Mount Santubong, just 32-km from
Kuching, the Sarawak Cultural Village portrays the cultures and
traditional lifestyles of the 7 major ethnic groups of Sarawak.
As we tour the various ethnic houses, we also learn about the native
arts and crafts, food and music. While there, visitors should also make
it a point to attend the cultural performance in the mini-theatre, which
showcases the various traditional dances of Sarawak.
Sprawled across 17 acres, there are about 150 people living in the village,
demonstrating traditional daily activities from Sarawak's diverse tribes
like the processing of sago and the making of handicrafts. They wear
traditional costumes and also put on dances for visitors.
The village residents provide information on their various traditional
cultures and lifestyles. We can see replicas of buildings that represent
every major ethnic group in Sarawak; longhouses of the Iban, Bidayuh
and Orang Ulu, a Melanau tall-house and a Chinese farm house among
The village also has a theatre, where we can enjoy multicultural dance
performances. Besides this, there is a restaurant and handicraft shop. We
can even get married at the Sarawak Cultural Village, in traditional Iban,
Malay, Bidayuh or Orang Ulu style.
RUMAH ORANG ULU
The house of an urban Malay House is built of wood. The Brooke era introduced
lofty ideas on columns, stucco, and indoor plumbing. From as early on as the
1860's, a few leading Malay families commissioned professional builders, often
Chinese, to construct their stately homes; a few which may still be seen today in
Jln. Ajibah Abol in Kuching.
From the humblest to the highest, Malay houses share certain characteristics.
They are built on stilts and a visitor approaching from the front comes up a
staircase. This may be quite small, leading along from the front of house. It
permits a stranger to wait until somebody welcomes.
The area designated for the men, official occasions and the entertainment of
guests, is a front room taking up the width of the house. Windows cut down to
floor level admits breeze for the seated people. Much artistic skill is lavished on
the decoration of the stair and window railings, fascia boards under the eaves as
well as the ventilation grills above or beside doorways.
Chinese farmers in Sarawak migrated to Sarawak in the early 1900s, at the invitation of
the Rajah who wanted to build up a solid farming middle class. Many came, most
stayed; one-third of the state's population is now Chinese.
Unlike local dwellings, the Chinese farm house is built at ground level. The house is
divided into two main parts; the family room which contains the kitchen, eating and
living area as well as a storage area for valuables such as bicycles or agricultural
machinery, and the bedroom.
A focal point of the living area of the Sarawak Chinese house is the household altar. A
print or statuette of the revered diety is placed here, before it are the joss sticks,
candles, cups of tea and other offerings. The doorpost is also divinely protected via the
application of strips of red paper with protection verses.
The term Orang Ulu is associated with the tribes living in the inaccessible
interior regions of Sarawak rainforests. In fact, orang (means "people") and ulu
(means "interior or up-river regions") is often useful to signify the "up-river
dwellers" who often settle in the middle and upper reaches of Sarawak's many
Traditionally, an Orang Ulu Longhouse was built to last and many of these people
practice settled agriculture, and have developed rice field irrigation to a fine art.
This makes the search for new farmlands unnecessary. The solid ironwood
houses are designed to last for many generations.
The Melanau people making up nearly 6% of Sarawak’s population, now
mostly living in the central coastal region, were once more widely scattered.
They traditionally lived near the sea within reach of pirates. As a means of
protecting themselves, the Melanaus built massive houses forty feet above
The Melanaus is different from most other Borneo people such as in one
important aspect they eat sago in preference to rice. Sago palms originally
grew wild in the coastal swamps, and the Melanaus took it upon themselves
to cultivate these plants. The ten-meter high palm trunk accumulates starch.
It swells just before flowering indicating the right time for harvesting by
The Melanau is also carves fetishes for good luck in fishing, effigies of those
lost at sea, figurines for ritual burial, and other magical paraphernalia. In the
past, they also create massive burial posts, usually for aristocrats. These
consists of the Kelirieng(burial pole) and the Salong (burial hut). A kelirieng
is made of a huge hardwood tree trunk, elaborately carved from top to
bottom. It is hollowed at the top to place the jar containing the chief's bones.
A heavy stone slab is surmounted on the top of the pole, the size of which is
more than six feet in diameter and can be up to 32 feet tall above the ground.
The long house is actually pretty decent. The internals are quite similar to other
longhouses you can find in the cultural village with the exception of an open-top
sprawling veranda made of bamboo floors which I thought was quite nice.
The special of the longhouse is a demonstration of artistic bamboo and
only special types of bamboo are suitable for this dying work of art. The finished
bamboo products will certainly make excellent stationery holders or beautiful wall
The Iban race, once known as “Sea Dayaks”, built their longhouses to last fifteen to
twenty years, or, until the farm land in the surrounding area was exhausted. Then they
packed up their goods and chattels and moved inland, upriver, along the coast,
wherever fresh farm lands looked promising.
A traditional longhouse is built of axe-hewn timber, tied with creeper fibre, roofed with
leaf thatch. It is nearly always built by the bank of a navigable river, and the visitor
approaches it from the boat jetty. The long covered gallery that runs the length of an
Iban longhouse is called the Ruai. This is where guest are usually greeted.
Several doorways lead from the outer to the inner verandah under the roof. This is the
village street of the longhouse; the individual family rooms or “doors” front the
common walkway. A casual visitor is invited to sit down on a mat here for a chat with
the longhouse elder; family members enter through their relatives' doors and make
themselves at home.
Kuching Cultural Village is famously known as the living museum in
Sarawak. In kuching culture village, we can find many different race
of people in culture village like Iban, Penan, Bidayuh, Melanau, Orang
Ulu and others. Each different race got they own custom.
The Iban people are one of the races we can find in culture village. In there we
can see the Iban people clothes, living places and they also present their
traditional dance to us.
Iban men wears the clothes called Baju Burung or Gagung which is a thick,
hard shirt made from animal‟s skin and head wear hornbill feathers.
Iban woman wearing a sarong called a Bidang. This sarong is narrow and it‟s
long only about knee-deep. Normally this field is only decorated by band
pattern design with colourful stripes.
The long covered gallery that runs the length of an Iban longhouse is called the Ruai. This is the
village street of the longhouse; the individual family rooms or “doors” front the common
Iban Traditional dance
This is the Iban traditional dance, called ngajat, is performed accompanied by the
„taboh‟ and „gendang‟, and the Iban traditional music.
This is another races in culture village, they are the Bidayuh. The name Bidayuh has a
meaning which means „inhabitants of land‟. They are the second largest Dayak ethic
group after the Iban.
The clothing of Bidayuh men consists of a long loin-cloth called tawuop or tahup,
which is wrapped tidily around the body with one end hanging down in front and the
other end hanging down behind.
The clothing of Bidayuh women clothing contain the jomuh or a short petticoat.
Necklaces made of beads and the armlets of shell are the common jewellery.
The Bidayuh longhouse consists of a longhouse or several longhouses and a main head
house called a Barok. The longhouses are for families and when boys come of age, they
are sent to stay in the Barok until time when he marries and will then move in with the
wife's family in most situations.
Bidayuh Traditional dance
This is Bidayuh traditional dance called ritual dance. In their traditional, this dances
which serve as a mean to bring goodness in their lives.
At Kuching, I found that there was some famous local food and it is a
signature food in Kuching. Here I am going to introduce some signature
food in Kuching.
Kolo Mee is one of the famous and common local food
found in Kuching.
Kolo Mee is an authentic Kuching food in which the people here can
have as breakfast, lunch or dinner. The noodles of Kolo Mee was the
hand-made noodles. The noodles were flat and there was some slices of
meat that called „cha siew‟. The kolo mee can be found at every café
Besides that, laksa also one of the famous food that can be
found in Kuching.
Laksa in Kuching comes with lots of shredded egg, fresh prawns, bean sprouts
and shredded chicken. The secret to a good bowl of laksa is in the stock and the
oomph comes from a combination of different root gingers and spices that have
making this unique Kuching dish. It is a favorite food with locals as well as
Tomato Kueh Tiaw also one the food distinctively Kuching.
Tomato Kueh Tiaw was fried crispy noodle or stir fried kueh tiaw
with tomato gravy just like what Italians spaghetti to them. The
gravy must cooked to perfection with many condiments and
poured over the noodles. Tomato Kueh Tiaw comes with the
meat, vegetables and some prawn. It is particular to Kuching.
Kuching festival is an event which organized by the council of Kuching city
for every August in years. Kuching festival organized is to celebrate
Kuching anniversary as a city. This event lasts around 3 weeks or one
The Kuching festival programmes
The Kuching Festival Programme also includes the Concert of Traditional
Oriental Music by a local Chinese Music Orchestra and Folk Dance
Display. Apart from that, the Martial Arts Display Showcase the various arts
and skills of Wushu, Taichi, Silat, Taekwondo, Silamban and Akido.
Food stalls in Kuching Festival Fair
There are many different food stalls in Kuching festival fair. Those stall
owners will open their stalls before 6pm. After 6pm, Kuching festival fair
will be crowded.
Rainforest World music festival
annual three days music
diversity of world music,
held in Kuching, Sarawak