Kenyah People


The Kenyah people are an indigenous, Austronesian-speaking people of Borneo, living in the remote Baram (Lio Mato, Long Selaan, Long Moh, Long Mekaba, Long Jeeh, Long Belaong, Long Palai, Long Anap, Long Julan, Long Pelutan, Long Apu, Long Selatong (Dikan), Long Selatong (Tanjung Tepalit), Long San, Long Silat, Long Tungan and etc), Data Kakus, Data Surau,Sg. Senep, Long Dungan, Long Busang, Long Beyak, Bintulu, Miri, Sungai Asap, Long Bulan, Long Jawe and Belaga regions in Sarawak, Malaysia and the remote Apau Kayan, Bahau (Bau), Benua Lama & Baru and Mahakam regions in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.  


Kenyah people are divided into various tribes including the Uma Bakah, Lepo Anan, Lepo Tau, Lepu Jalan, Lepo' Tepu, Uma Kelap, Badeng (Jamok, Lepo Aga'), Bakung, Kayan, Penan, Lepu Kulit, Uma Alim, Uma Timai, Uma Lasan, Lepo Ma-ot, Sambop, Lepo Ke', Lepo Ngao, Ngurek, Kiput, Long Ulai, Long Tikan, Long Sabatu, Lepo Ga, Lepo Dikan, and Lepo Pua

The Usun Apau (aka Usun Apo) plateau(in the Peliran river valley) or Apo Kayan Highlands (a remote forested plateau in Malaysian and Indonesian border) in the present-day Indonesian province of East Kalimantan was the largest concentration site of Kenyah populations between the late 19th century to the early 1980s.

Population Statistical figures, based on the Indonesian and Malaysian national censuses collected in 2000, recorded a total of 44,350 Kenyah people in East Kalimantan and 24,906 in Sarawak.


Culture and economy The Kenyah people, traditionally being swidden agriculturalists and living in long houses (uma dado'), is an umbrella term for over 40 sub-groups that mostly share common migration histories, customs and related dialects. Kenyah people lived in long houses in a small communities. Each long house consists of families who choose their own leader (headman). When they have any event or celebration such as harvest festival they will normally use the long house verandah (oseh bi'o) to gather and deliver speeches to guide their youngsters. Normally this harvest festival celebration (tau bio Ramay o o Ajau, pelepek uman) is a major festival because most of them are still farmers.


Religion Almost all Kenyah people are Christian RC (Roman Catholic) and SIB(Sidang Injil Borneo). Before they became Christian they believed in 'Bungan Malan Peselong Luan' (a traditional form of animism). But now there are only a small number of Kenyah people that still believe in Bungan. When they die they believe they go to Alo Malau (heaven) with their ancestors (tepun).There is a number of kenyah people who became muslim through inter-ethnic marriage and there are some of them converted to the religion in Long Busang Belaga in seventies.

Languages The Kenyah languages are a small family of Austronesian languages.

Reference: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenyah_people  

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