Brunei Darussalam


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[tweetmeme] First up, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has bought the Penan greeting cards since they were made available. Your contributions however big or small have made a difference in collective efforts to ensure Penan kids receive the education they deserve. However, raising money from sale of greeting cards is just one of a number of proactive efforts to save the Penans from possible extinction (Penans are South East Asia’s last Nomadic tribe). So, in a continuing effort to create awareness of their plight, the Panaga Natural History Society (PNHS) together with Jacky McLaren and her team of volunteers held a talk entitled “PENAN, LOST OR FOUND” last night at the Panaga Club. Selected photographs from Noah Jackson were also featured in the presentation slides.

Jacky McLaren begins her talk and to her left are authentic Penan craft and an actual blowpipe that used for hunting and self-defence.




Like many indigenous tribes,  the Penans are great with their handicrafts and have produced these wonderful hand made items to purchase. Like the greeting cards, proceeds from sale of these crafts also go to building their future. If you’re interested in buying these items, you may contact Violette (contact details at bottom of post). Among the items available but not shown here are the unique Penan ear rings. Because they’re hand made, no two of them are alike and I’m honoured to have been presented a unique box set by Violette and Shida as token of appreciation.

Most of the Penan craft are made from a complex network of intricately twisted rattan.





Yes, a familiar scene. It all begins with a smile and once contact is made, it’s sold. What I saw last night confirmed a long suspicion about women and bags!








Azri whose ancestral roots connect him to the Penans and a passion for photography takes a close-up photo of a Penan craft with the aid of a Kenko Extension Tube.
Penan crafts can be extremely colourful too evident of this being the hand weaved baskets
Esther demos how to put on a traditional Penan basket.
A wooden container of darts used by the Penans to hunt with the blowpipes.
Violette took over my camera and had me pose with the Penan weapon. Pictured here are (from left): Gavin, Asri and the guy without his choice of weapon 🙂
A view of the darts and opening of the blowpipe
The tip of the spear that’s strapped to the end of the blowpipe and the darts.
Blowpipe with spear head fitted and tied securely with rattan.


More than one reason to smile about. Besides contributing to help the Penans, the craft makes a great personal collection.
The angels—Shida, Esther, Jacky and Violette—championing the Penan cause to save South East Asia’s last nomadic tribe from extinction.

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3 thoughts on “PENAN, LOST OR FOUND?

  1. I’m sure there are many like myself who felt that the Penans should be left to live the way their forefathers had lived and not be forced out of their natural habitat in the name of development and progress – but unfortunately we don’t anything about it.

    So it’s good to know that there are these kind folks who actually take some action to help them in their plights. Kudos to them!

    I like the Certificate of Authenticity, it makes the craft even more exclusive and special. Also interesting to note that the Penan’s blowpipe is the same, or at least very very similar to those made by the Muruts of Sabah. Goes to show that all of us Borneon natives must have originated from the same stock.


    1. I have on numerous occasions been invited to join them on visits inside the forest but have yet to say yes to one. I imagine the incredible insight from just one of these excursions although there are many careful considerations to make before a decision is made. Someday this will happen for me—it’s a plan, just not an immediate one.


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