A 2D1N With the Awesome American Couple

Mark & Chelsea, are one of those rare and awesome people I’ve met so far. On a nice budget trip they decided to go for the 2 days 1 night trip to the Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse with a few swims in the the river and waterfall. During this trip, they manage to see a, maybe 4 ft long or slightly more, snake crossing the road, eat rice cooked in pitcher plant, chicken cooked in bamboo, wild vegetables from the jungle of Borneo and more rice wine! which I personally think is Mark’s fave drink. Hahahahah. They also had the privilege to meet one of the traditional music player and maker there and witness him play 2 songs. But here are more photo’s and video of bits and pieces of the trip. Enjoy!

About the Bidayuh musical instrument Called Pratuokng:

Pratuokng is a zither instrument made entirely from the body of a bamboo tube. The bamboo, called Patukng, is a species of bamboo that grows mainly in the highland or mountain area. It is considered the best species for making the instrument as it is a material of such tensile strength, big size, longer nodes in between, and the right thickness, chosen mainly from the midsection of the plant.

Sabakng (Mother Drum), Gaduoak (Baby Drum), Pratuoakng (Bamboo Tube Zither), Sritakng (Xylophone)
Photo Credit to: Madeeh FB Page. Sabakng (Mother Drum), Gaduoak (Baby Drum), Pratuoakng (Bamboo Tube Zither), Sritakng (Xylophone)

Traditionally, it has 5 strings that run parallel on its tubular sound box. Each strings are made by splitting out a thin strip of bamboo from the tube surface, leaving it attached at both ends, and inserting a bridge-stick at each end to lift the string from the surface. Slide-able bridges are also inserted beneath the strings to produce a scale. On the side of the instrument, a piece of long, wide (6cm-7cm) and thin layer of the bamboo tube surface is strip out, leaving the inner layer still attached. The inner layer is then cut out, still leaving it attached at both ends, and inserting a bridge-stick at each end to lift the wide inner strip. Once the 5cm-6cm wide strip is being bridge-lifted, it creates a thin and long hole, mainly for the resonance. The wide inner strip is made as the bass and played either by tapping/slapping, while the strings are played by striking and plucking.

As there is no written history about the instrument, the older generation orally explain that it has always been around for a very long time, since bamboo grows in abundance around the longhouse. It was created and played as a pastime and entertainment, though at first, the making was quite crude. Gradually, it was refined and became an instrument to play traditional music to accompany traditional dances and folksongs, especially during ceremonies and festivals such as the Harvest Festival (Gawai). As it is considered a lead instrument, it can be played solo and when playing in an ensemble, few players would be playing the Pratuokng, accompanied by other players with other instruments, such as Gaduok (percussion) and Sritakng (xylophone).

The upper Padawan region is situated about 65km from Sarawak’s state capital, Kuching. The surrounding region consists of many villages and longhouses, mainly lived by the Bidayuh ethnic group. Annah Ra’ih longhouse is one of the longhouses that still retains the traditional music, dance and folksong.

Mark & Chelsea mix bits and pieces vid from Seth Peli on Vimeo.

Their short trip in Borneo, Sarawak part.

Playing a traditional Bidayuh Instrument made of bamboo from Seth Peli on Vimeo.

a unique bamboo percussion instrument known as the ‘pratuakng’

Playing a traditional Bidayuh Instrument made of bamboo part ll from Seth Peli on Vimeo.

a unique bamboo percussion instrument known as the ‘pratuakng’

 

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One thought on “A 2D1N With the Awesome American Couple”

  1. Hi, I’m fy, A master student from Unimas in Kuching. Now I am doing a study in Bario, Kampung Annah Rais and Kampung Mongkos in Kuching. I found that you ever been to Kampung Annah Rais before. Therefore, I would like to invite you to fill a survey regards service quality in Kampung Annah Rais and yours satisfaction and destination revisit intention to serve my thesis’s purpose. I would be very appreciating that if you can give a hand to help. You can fill the questionnaire using the link as shown as below. Thanks.

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nHABHeO0Ff9ZeYeQpDzEMMJ8l3guRS-VM7uSOyshIgw/viewform

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