Penan Research Project – Part 3
From Ba’ Puak, the team continues their exploration to Long Kevok.
Originally, the villagers here are from Long Palo. They moved from Long Palo and finally decided to settle down permanently at Long Kevok on top of a hill. The village was named as Long Kevok based on Kevok river.
In year 2003, a big fire destroyed the village longhouse that consists of 24 doors. Today, the villagers built their houses separately (no more long house concept) along the hill slopes.
The Un-expected Discoveries
Upon reaching Long Kevok, it wasn’t in the mind to see such a well developed Penan settlement (as compared to Long Latei’, Long Kawa and Ba’ Puak). The village had a population of an approximately of 200 residents where it had a clinic, a primary school, a church and it even had a library (Perpustakaan Desa).
At the clinic, there is a huge parabolic dish and 2 public telephone booths. I kid you not. Sorry no picture taken coz I was too lazy and tired. ;p
The Un-Expected Assistance
As we couldn’t locate the Head of Village house, we asked around and Miriam came forward to assist us. She immediately becomes our tourist guide and interpreter.
Miriam is one of the Penan younger generations that had completed their Form 5 education level successfully. She intends to pursue her studies to tertiary education level but due to financial constraints, she has to put her dream aside.
Anyone wish to finance her study? Anyone?
Apart from Miriam, we found out the Medical Assistant Officer based at Long Kevok is the Head of Village’s son. The parent must be very proud. 🙂
One Among Many Findings
We met and had a chat with the Head of Village’s wife – Madam Yiam. Her husband, Mr. Seman Ngang wasn’t around as he went to the forest to hunt and gather some jungle products for the family. The interview, filming and photography session was held at the house patio. The house was located on a hill slope and on that day, it was quite windy so throughout the session, the air provides a cool breeze. It was so relaxing. I miss that moment, really. 🙂
Although they had adapted to the modern life styles nowadays, they can never be separated from what they have learnt from nature; hunting in the forest of which most of the villagers does for living till present. Not only they went fishing and hunting but also utilizing the jungle products into handicrafts to earn some hard cash.
However, nowadays the jungle products are getting lesser due to the timber loggings. 🙁
Before we leave the village, Mr. Ayub Geng (JKKK President) got all of us to leave our ‘foot-print’ in the village’s Visitor Book.
Personally, I felt honored and amazed at the same time. How many villages will get you to sign their visitor book when you visited them? How many?