Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Capital - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Putrajaya : Federal Territory - Malaysia
Selangor : Central Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Terengganu : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Kelantan : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Pahang : East Coast Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Johor / Johore : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Malacca / Melaka : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Negeri Sembilan / The Nine State : Southern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Kedah (Langkawi) : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Penang / Pulau Pinang : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
Sabah : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Labuan (Federal Territory) : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
Sarawak : East Malaysia / Malaysian Borneo - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
  Welcome
  Sarawak Tourism
  Getting There & Around
 
  Sarawak Map 1
  Sarawak Map 2
 
  PEOPLE & ETHNIC GROUP:
 
  General Info
  Bidayuh (Land Dayak's)
  Iban (Sea Dayak's)
  Melanau
  Orang Ulu
 
  Iban Longhouse Visit
 
  ARTS & CRAFTS:
  General Info
  Pua Kumbu, Pua Sungkit & Pua Karap
   
  Eating Out, Nightlife & Local Delicacy
 
  PLACES OF INTEREST :
 
  Adventure Nature & Wildlife
  National Parks & Wildlife Conservation
   
  KUCHING (STATE CAPITAL):
 
  General Info
  Bus Service / Transportation
  Map
 
  History & People
  Dining & Entertainment
  Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  Recreation & Sports
  Spa Retreats
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Kuching On Foot
  Heritage Trails
  Historical Buildings
  Museums
  Handicrafts
  Street Life
 
  Nature & National Parks
  Bako National Park
  Batang Ai National Park
  Gunung Gading National Park
  Kubah National Park
  Kuching Wetlands National park
  Matang Wildlife Centre
  Semenggoh Nature Reserve
  Talang Satang National Park
  Tanjung Datu National Park
 
  Santubong & Damai Beach
  General Info
  Irrawady Dolphin
  Sarawak Cultural Village
 
  Kuching Southwest
  Tourist Destination
  Teluk Melano & Sematan
 
  Sibu
  General Info
  Dining & Entertainment
  Shopping & Accommodation
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  City Centre
  Bawang Assan Iban Longhouse
 
  Melanau's Heartland:
  Mukah Town
  Dalat Town
 
  Up Rejang River:
  General Info
  Kanowit, Song & Belaga
  Kapit
 
  Down Rejang River:
  General Info
 
  Miri
  General Info
  City Map
  In & Around Miri Map
 
  Lifestyle & Nightlife
  Shopping
 
  TOURIST ATTRACTION
  Must Visit Places
  Bario & Ba?kelalan
 
  Gunung Mulu National Park
  Lambir Hills National Park
  Loagan Bunut National Park
  Niah National Park
  Similajau National Park
 
 
 
 
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO

PEOPLE / ETHNIC GROUP : Melanau

 
 

MELANAU ETHNIC GROUP

 

The Melanau's, believed by many to be the oldest settlers in Sarawak, make up about nearly 6% of Sarawak?s total population and are geographically concentrated in the central coastal region, between the Rajang and Baram rivers. A majority of them are either Christians or Muslims. In their heartland of Mukah, better known as the 'Cradle of Melanau civilisation', the Melanau's have abandoned living in their traditional tall houses and now favour coastal kampung-style villages, having adopted a Malay lifestyle. The Melanau's were once seafaring people and were known to be sago farmers as well as adept boat builders and fishermen. Although the Melanau's speak their own dialect, the language is not too far different from that spoken by the Sarawakian Malays.

 

The Melanau people are well known for their massive longhouses, some of which can reach up to 40 feet high. These diverse people, related by their use of dialects of the same language group. Majority of them are Muslims but some are Christian or practice their traditional religion. The Melanau's used to practice a custom of flattening the head by applying a wooden device to the forehead of infants.

 
 
 

COSTUME

 

The traditional Melanau costume for men is called the Baban. This costume bears strong resemblance to the traditional outfit worn by Malay men, called the baju melayu, and it even incorporates the wearing of a samping around the waist. Accordingly, the traditional costume for the Melanau womenfolk closely resembles the baju kurung donned by Malay ladies.

 
 
 

ARTS & CRAFTS

 

Lamin Dana, a traditional Melanau tall house located along the banks of Tellian River in Mukah, serves as a homestay and a centre for traditional Melanau craft and performing arts. Here, the alu alu dance is practiced and performed to ensure the heritage does not become extinct. The conical sunhat called the terendak, is one of the signature trademarks of the Melanau people. One of the crafts, which still survive till today, is the art of weaving using materials such as the sago fronds, to produce various containers and other practical everyday items.

 
 

 

EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS
 

The best-known festival celebrated by the Melanau's is the Kaul Festival (Pesta Kaul). Originating from the animistic beliefs traditionally held by the Melanau's, the Pesta Kaul is held annually, usually in March or early April, as a purification and thanksgiving to appease the spirits of the sea, land, forests and farm. This festival is celebrated by the Melanau people living in the coastal settlements in Mukah. Through the festival, the Melanau people offer their thanks to the spirits for keeping them safe through the monsoon season, and ask for a good bounty on their fishing trips. Today, however, the Pesta Kaul is celebrated more as a cultural festival, rather than a religious one.

 

One of the highlights of this festival is the tibau ? a traditional giant swing sometimes 20-feet high, from which youths would dive down to catch a swinging rope. There are also performances of traditional dance such as the alu alu and display of martial art performances. As many of the Melanau people today are either Muslims or Christians, they also celebrate Hari Raya and Christmas Day.

 
 
 
 
PEOPLE / ETHNIC GROUP : Melanau
SARAWAK - EAST MALAYSIA / MALAYSIA BORNEO