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Borneo Facts - Sarawak

* Niah Caves is where one of the first settlement in Sarawak was found by archaeologists.  The earliest 'Niah Cave man' was traced to have existed between 35,000 to 40,000 years ago.  Niah Caves is also one of the best tourist spot to visit in Borneo.

* The most populous and most known racial group of Sarawak is the Iban, which made up of about 550,000 or 30.0% of the Sarawak State total population. They are concentrated in the Batang Lupar River Basin and Middle Rejang River areas, but Ibans can be found throughout Sarawak.

* Ibans are also known as the 'Sea Dayaks' mainly for their expert seamanship.  They are famous for their headhunting past when they were Borneo's most fearsome warriors.  Ibans were recorded to have settled in Sarawak towards the end of the 15th century from the Kapuas River Basin in Kalimantan.

* The Penans, one of the interesting indigenous group in Sarawak, made famous by the green warrior, Bruno Manser, specialise in the manufacture and expert utilisation of the blowpipes.  They are normally regarded as the 'shy people' of the jungle as they are concentrated in the dense virgin jungles of Borneo. However, very few of Penans lead a normadic lifestyle nowadays.

* The Melanaus comprised about 6.0 percent of Sarawak's total population.  One of the distinct differences between the Melanaus and the other Borneo people is their daily diet - they prefer to eat sago than rice.

* English adventurer James Brooke arrived in Sarawak in 1839 at the time when Sarawak was rebelling under the rule of the Brunei Sultanate.  As a reward for his role in quelling the rebellion, the Pengiran Mahkota of Brunei made Brooke the "White Rajah" of Sarawak in 1841.  James Brooke was succeeded by his nephew Charles Brooke in 1868, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son, Charles Vyner in 1917.  Charles Vyner or Vyner as he is commonly referred to as, was the last White Rajah of Sarawak.

 

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