Tuai ewu' aku' means 'Come follow me' in the language of the indigenous Penan peoples of Sarawak, Borneo. This blog is an invitation to you to follow me on my big adventure to learn about this tribe and experience the natural beauty of Borneo. Tuai ewu' aku' ! x

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Photos from Long Spigen

Hi everyone,

After my time in Long Kerong, I decided to have a different experience and go to a nearby village, called Long Spigen.  Long Spigen is a smaller village with a longhouse.  At first, I felt a bit lonely and wondered if I had made the right decision.  It seemed as though people were too shy to speak with me and I was the only 'westerner' there (I had left my friend back in Long Kerong).  Also, I didn't have my own room in the house I was staying in - I was sharing an open space with the family, so I had very little privacy.  With time though, I was glad that I had come because the family that I was with were taking the trouble to teach me some Penan!  Gradually, I learnt a few words; here is a sample;

Jian kenin - thankyou
Akeu tai baa meroor - I'm going to the river for a bath
Akeu keloor pegun - I want to sleep
Jian na'at - beautiful
Pana - hot
Genin - cold
Jian kon - delicious!

Here are some pics from Long Spigen;

Dogs everywhere in the villages

The house that I stayed in wasn't finished, as you can see
This is the Long Spigen church.  I would get the village guitar and walk up an down the aisle, playing songs.  It was a great atmosphere for songwriting!  I felt like I was in that church from the movie, Kill Bill - great for writing torchy country love songs (and revenge songs:))

The church again - of course the village people weren't sure what to make of this strange white girl singing in the church, but I think they liked it! :)
The kids in the village use sticks and knives and drills - they never have accidents though!
You'll never guess, but the children here are watching hyper-sexualised 90s Euro-pop video clips like Aqua and Venga Boys.  Wierd.
Boats under the longhouse
Issac spots a bird
Takes aim....but misses. (I sigh with relief):)

This girl liked to follow me - I took this at the lookout.

View from lookout
Penan at the tree nursery

Some of the Penan guides and porters.


  1. I bet they miss you, especially that little girl. The pic of the dog cracks me up! So this brings you to just before you came back from your 5-week trek, right? Make sure to add some stuff from civilisation! Jian kenin!

  2. Hello! The church is beautiful, I bet it was so inspiring for your song writing. Love the pics of all the long houses and the boats under, gorgeous and atmospheric!

  3. By the way, James says the church reminds him of the one in African Queen. You totally remind me of Katherine Hepburn... when she lets loose out of her Victoriana and embraces the jungle of course!

  4. hehe I love that compliment Helen. Thankyou!! :)