Monday, April 13, 2009

Kenyah Leppo K One of The Pagan Tribes of Borneo

"The Kenyahs predominate greatly in the highlands a little north of the centre of Borneo where all the large rivers have their sources; but they are found also in widely scattered villages throughout the Kayan areas. In all respects they show closer affinities with the Kayans than with the Sea Dayaks; as regards custom and mode of life they closely resemble the Kayans, with whom they are generally on friendly terms; but they are easily distinguished from the Kayans by well-marked differences of bodily and mental characters, as well as by language. Physically they are without question the finest people of the country. Their skin-colour is decidedly fairer than that of Sea Dayaks or Kayans. They are of medium stature, with long backs and short, muscular, well-rounded limbs; a little stumpy in build, but of graceful and vigorous bearing. They are perhaps the most courageous and intelligent of the peoples; pugnacious, but less quarrelsome than the Sea Dayak; more energetic and excitable than the Kayan; hospitable and somewhat improvident, sociable and of pleasant manners; less reserved and of more buoyant temperament than the Kayan; very loyal and obedient to their chiefs; more truthful and more to be depended upon under all circumstances than any of the other peoples, except possibly the Kayans.

The Kenyahs speak a number of dialects of the same language, and these differ so widely that Kenyahs of widely separated districts cannot converse freely with one another; but, as with all the peoples, except the Sea Dayaks, nearly every man has the command of several dialects as well as of the Kayan language."

And I am one of them!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At first, when I read this, I was mildly interested. I thought: probably another bule, who wants to spout off his (limited) knowledge.
That was until I read: "I'm one of them !!"
Now I like to know more. I've never been on Borneo, but have spent a lot of time on Sumatra with the Minang Kabau people.