Megaliths of the Kelabit Highlands

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Batu Kalong

via Kuching In and Out:

Batu Kalong

Highlands is possibly an ancient and, at the same time, a continuous one. Recent archaeological research suggests that some of the earliest stone mounds were constructed as early as around 2,500 years ago. Excavations conducted at a number of megalithic sites in the Kelabit Highlands have also found an array of artefacts such as cremated bones, stone and glass beads, local earthenware and trade ceramics, and metal objects belonging to different time periods between 2,000 and a few hundred years ago. Among the Kelabit, megalithic practices were observed until around 1950, when the tradition ceased owing to modernisation and the people’s conversion to Christianity. Traditionally, megaliths were built during irau (‘feast’) as part of elaborate funerary rites of elite members of the Kelabit society. The batuh nangan and the lungun batuh, for example, were burial monuments where the bones of the deceased were placed in a secondary burial event known as burak nulang. The batuh senuped, on the other hand, commemorated the deceased or marked the location of the grave. The perupun, besides functioning as memorials, are also said to be the final repositories for the valuable properties (beads, gongs and jars) of heirless elites.

Source: Kuching In & Out | Documenting Our Culture, Food & Lifestyle – MEGALITHS OF THE KELABIT HIGHLANDS

Central Borneo sites mapped and investigated

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Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith speaking at the Sarawak Museum. Source: Borneo Post 20140825

Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith recently gave a talk at the Sarawak Museum on the ongoing work of the Central Borneo Project, focused on the Kelabit Highlands. Nick Gani, who gave me the heads up to this article, is also involved in the project and instrumental in coordinating archaeology education for undergraduate students at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Both Lindsay and Nick are personal friends of mine.

Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith speaking at the Sarawak Museum. Source: Borneo Post 20140825

Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith speaking at the Sarawak Museum. Source: Borneo Post 20140825

‘Need to locate undiscovered sites in Kelabit Highlands’
Borneo Post, 28 August 2014
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