The Lun Dayeh

The Lun Bawang is of a Dayak tribe found in Central Borneo. In the Malaysian state of Sarawak, the Lun Bawang are categorised under the Orang Ulu people; whilst in the neighbouring state of Sabah, they are more commonly known as Lun Dayeh. The word Lun Bawang means native/indigenous (Bawang) people (Lun), whilst Lun Dayeh means upriver (Dayeh) people.

The Lun Bawang are formerly identified as Murut by the British colonists and by outsiders (other ethnic group). In the Lun Bawang’s language, the term Murut is derogatory and the word Murut in their language means ‘dregs’ or ‘rotten’. In the early 1970s, the use of the term Lun Bawang began to gain popularity amongst ethnologist and linguist, and it is now the most commonly used term to identify this ethnic group.

The Lun Bawangs made up of one of the ethnic natives that occupied the Borneo Island for centuries. According to Tom Harrison (1959) and S. Runciman (1960), the Lun Bawang Community is one of the earlier settlers in the mountainous regions of central Borneo and they are related to the Kelabit tribe. It is said that their dialects have some similarities as this may be due to the fact that the Kelabit also another tribe from the mountainous regions of central Borneo and the Lun Bawang dialect is of the Kelabitic lineage.

It is believed that the early settlements of the Lun Bawang people are in the Kerayan-Kelabit highland of Central Northeast Borneo. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, they gradually migrated to the low lands near today’s Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. Nevertheless, there are still a number of them who resides in the Kerayan-Kelabit highlands today.

Further information on this ethnic race, you can find it here. Above information are my own versions of summary just to give a clear picture of the Lun Dayeh ethnic race mmuehehehe. ;p

Again this is another back post entry as I promised earlier. On the 28th December 2007, I attended one of my close friends wedding. Both of them are my colleagues until Mr. Bride himself recently joined a new organization that provides free wi-fi services to Miri city. I think you get my drift here. ;p

A brief summary on the bride and bridegroom background; Mr. Bride himself comes from a mixed marriage of Iban and Lun Dayeh whereas Miss Bridegroom herself is a Kayan. Both had been dating for more than 2 years, engaged at the beginning of 2007 and now are officially husband and wife by the end of 2007.

It was a private wedding where only close friends and close family members are invited. The big wedding will be sometime in the month of June 2008 as Mr. Bride’s big sister will be coming home all the way from Dubai.

The wedding ceremony started around 7:30pm and soon after the wedding was blessed by Mr. Pastor himself, food was served. I wasn’t in time to take some shots on the wedding matrimony ceremony as I end up spending my time finding space to park my car for more than half an hour. I was greeted by the bride and bridegroom at the main entrance and I quickly requested them to take picture with me before the other family members ‘kidnapped’ them for photograph session.

Then I met Mr. Bride’s younger sister – Neng (her nick name). She looks beautiful in her traditional Lun Dayeh costume and had a long chat with her. She is now currently pursuing her study in nursing at Kuala Lumpur and enjoyed KL life styles very much.

As I walked toward the foods area, the guests were entertained by a group of traditional dancers. They danced gracefully and it was my first time seeing a Lun Dayeh dance performance live. I was amazed and excited at the same time.

I couldn’t stop staring at the dancers’ traditional costume as it captured my eyes and nothing better to do than taking pictures with the dancers. I was told by Mr. Bride that the dancers are actually his nieces that came all the way from Lawas, Sipitang, Sabah and Brunei. They have been practicing the dance performances just for his wedding which really touches me. It really show
s to me how close the family bonding are and I envy Mr. Bride for that.

I had a wonderful night on that day. The food were marvellous and same goes with the entertainment and I believe the guests enjoyed every moment of it as much as I did. I managed to have long chat with Mr. Bride parent and they miss their elder daughter – Wennie very much (as she is working at Dubai) upon seeing me as I reminded them of her. I can see her mom’s eyes watery and tears rolling down her cheeks the longer I chat with her. My friends and I used to hang out at Mr. Bride place during the week-ends with the presence of his parent and that explains why Mr. Bride parent tend to be emotional that night.

I can’t wait for the big wedding in June and congratulation to Mr. Bride aka Aundree and Miss Bridegroom aka Catherine on their big day.

May your marriage life filled with ever lasting happiness, trust and love.


  1. U.Lee

    9 January, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Ladybird, Wow! I read your this post twice. Really interesting and your photographs are really very well taken. And the ladies so beautiful in their various custumns. Wow!
    Ahhh, now at least I know who is what, what is who, ha ha. Gosh, there are so many different peoples in Sarawak, incredible.
    But I feel so thrilled I know one Kenyah lady, now a friend, ha ha.
    Everyone so fair in the pics, like orang putehs.
    Sarawak sure will be my next stop, ha ha.
    You have a nice day, Ladybird, Lee.
    ps, I think when I go to Sarawak sure to buy a lot of souvinirs, ha ha.

  2. Nightwing

    10 January, 2008 at 2:37 am

    So Winnie is the eldest sister? Cool.

    Congrats to the new couple.

    Thanks for sharing it. I am sure Uncle Lee will like this post..:)

  3. Nightwing

    10 January, 2008 at 2:37 am

    So Winnie is the eldest sister? Cool.

    Congrats to the new couple.

    Thanks for sharing it. I am sure Uncle Lee will like this post..:)

  4. Mystery LadyBird

    10 January, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Glad tat u read it twice and liked it very much. I hope I can come out more post on something like this, I just need enough time to do so due to my current hectic schedules.

    And yes it is a must to bring back some souvenirs from Sarawak as a remembrance.

    Yes, Wennie is his elder sista. Hell yeahhh Uncle Lee luving it. U’ve jst saw his comment above. 🙂

  5. ZACH

    10 January, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, this posting id informative and educational.

  6. Mystery LadyBird

    11 January, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Thanks Zach..i hope i cn cm out wt more informative post in d near future..keep on visiting my ‘crib’.. 🙂

  7. pilgrimsmaster

    11 January, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I thought Wennie was there for the wedding. The ladies look beautiful, regards to any of them that you know hehehe

  8. Mystery LadyBird

    11 January, 2008 at 6:48 am

    U din knw she ‘left’ us?? btw,i don knw any of d ladies so u bttr do yr own homework on tat hehehe.. ;p

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