Penan at home in Miri

Penan squat in Miri, Sarawak, August 2009.

The Penan, one of the more unique of indigenous peoples of Sarawak, live in the forests of Ulu Baram. Some are still nomadic, whilst a hand-full have resorted to living in squats.

Penan at “home” in Miri from andrew garton on Vimeo.

Miri, the nearest city, provides the closest hospital to all the indigenous communities of the Ulu Baram. The Penan of Long Kerong, upper Ulu Baram, have squatted in two rundown timber cottages for over 20 years. It has become a kind of half-way house for those who need frequent medical attention and others who need a place to stay when transiting between their village, Miri and / or other parts of Sarawak.

This micro-doc provides a snap-shot of life in the Penan’s Miri “home”. It was cobbled together quickly to assist in raising funds to move Penan from the squat to rented premises in Miri.

Shot with a Canon Powershot S5 IS digital SLR and an Acer Aspire One netbook.


This micro-doc has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license.

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3 thoughts on “Penan at home in Miri”

  1. Hello Andrew, its Shani here from the “Live at the Lodge” evening…..Ray just sent me the pictures of the new half-way house for your beloved people. I am in total shock that our smal, even puny, funds could achieve this! And I can see what a difference it would make for ill people on the way “through”. I am again reminded of how we live here in Melbourne, Australia without the real awareness of how fortunate we are, and how easy it is for us to make a difference. You may remember my Mum – who won the necklace, do you know that it is now one of her most loved things – it is a real connection to the country where my Dad was born andlived until the war, a country she heard so much about but never visited. To the day my Dad died he always squattted and sat cross legged and said it was his most comfortable……I run a small homje-based business called relocations-made-easy – and assist people moving into Australian cities through an interactive relocation program that allows them to independently research the city they are moving to – it was a very tough year last year in business because most corporates had staff freezes on – i am hoping this year is better, we will see – but if it is, it would be a good fit to donate a little at Chritmas – no promises………kind rgards to you Andrew, love Shani

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