Pages from Highland Tales in the Heart of Borneo book coming alive

Pages from Highland Tales in the Heart of Borneo book coming alive


KUCHING: Join us in a casual literary evening of tales, passed on orally for generations in the highlands of Sabah and Sarawak, featuring legendary giant called Upai Semaring and ancient cultures of the local communities.

Organized by WWF-Malaysia and Persatuan Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Sarawak (FORMADAT),  the enthralling story telling event will take place at ChinaHouse at the Old Court House, here on August 3, 2016 (Wednesday) at 7 pm.

A similar event was held at Silverfish Books in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, a few months ago. This time,  the organizers are holding the story telling in Kuching to promote the book, Highland Tales In The Heart of Borneo, as well as to highlight conservation activities  in the highlands.

The book features the oral history of people living in Long Pa’ Sia’ in Sabah; and Ba’ Kelalan, Bario and Long Semadoh in Sarawak as well as places of interests comprising megaliths, old burial grounds and settlements, and old rainforests of Borneo.

WWF-Malaysia Senior Community Engagement and Education Officer Alicia Ng, who works closely with the highland communities on co-management of natural resources and sustainability, through the grassroots initiative FORMADAT, authored the book.

The book is a documentation of the stories of old and some of the most distinctive cultural heritage sites of the communities in Sabah and Sarawak, which helps in promoting ecotourism activities in these areas.

The highlands of Sabah and Sarawak are home to some of the most unique communities in Asia. The Orang Ulu community of the highlands in the Heart of Borneo comprises the Kelabit, Lun Bawang, Lundayeh and Sa’ban people. Each with their own distinct dialects and cultural nuances yet rooted at the core with parallel mythology and oral history, they are the guardians of a rich array of tribal stories and legends. The book has an amazing collection of photographs and stories gathered from the storytellers of these communities.

The book is published by FORMADAT with support from Forest Department Sarawak, WWF-Malaysia and Ministry of Tourism Sarawak. Written in English and Bahasa Malaysia, the book costs RM40 each and will be sold at the event. All proceeds from sale of books shall go to FORMADAT as part of the association’s fund raising activities.

Guests attending the story telling event will get to see cultural performances by the highland communities,  a mini photography exhibition, and sample local rice-based delicacies.

Admission to the story telling event is free. Those interested to attend the event are advised to contact WWF-Malaysia at 082-247420 or email to [email protected]  as seats are limited.