The Penan of Jelalong River, Sarawak: A Narrative of Migration and Adaptation

  • Jayl Langub
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


This is a narrative, based on oral testimonies and contemporary documents, of the migration of four groups of formerly nomadic Penan from the Usun Apau in the interior of Belaga district and Apau Julan in the upper Baram River, Baram district, to the Jelalong River in Sebauh district around the beginning of the 1800s. The Jelalong River was unoccupied and the Penan groups became its first occupants. Soon after their arrival, they adopted a settled mode of life, traded with Brunei traders and Chinese merchants at the confluence of the Tubau and Jelalong; they also bartered with the Vaie Segan who paddled up the Jelalong to the Penan settlements. Intense interactions with neighbouring groups resulted in several intermarriages, while the settlements have retained their identity as Penan places.


Sarawak Penan Jelalong River Migration Adaptation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jayl Langub
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Borneo StudiesUniversiti Malaysia SarawakKota SamarahanMalaysia

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