Iban child in a long house playing gongs.

Iban child in a longhouse playing with gongs. Sitting on hand made mats.

At the time I didn’t understand how lucky I really was to be a guest of this particular Iban longhouse for and event like this. I was able to be a witness of a traditional Iban wedding. Not only that, but I may have been the first American to this place (definately the first some had ever met). Also, this was the first Iban/French wedding known in Iban history.

Unfortunately, I was unaware of how lucky I was. I came with the hopes of meeting some elders who could tell me about the Iban way and how the old tradtions were potentially fading with the generations.

The pride of the Iban is not gone, the fire they have will not be put out, but to find  the old ways you may be hard pressed to find this in the younger generation in a more modernized world. Though having tattoos are still common place, especially the traditional “bunga terung” tattoos on the shoulders which are markings of an Iban. But when you think about it, do I even live like my elders did? Things with time just seem to change. So if you want to find these things, now is better than later.

I had a couple of nights to experience all I could and what I found is a great people.

For those who don’t know, the Iban were once known as one of the fiercest tribes in Borneo and were also known as head hunters. A people who thrived in the jungle. Sounds intense? Its supposed to, but the Iban, when you are thier guest are full of kindness and hospitality. I will explain in more detail what I learned and my experiences in future posts. They will also feature more imagery of the experience.

2 Headed Snake

Two Headed Snake

Some of you who have been following my work have seen this image and some others like it before. If you are new to this site then you may have found those photos from another source. Some time in the near future I will open a gallery or make blog posts relating back to the snake. Since I don’t have any images like this currently posted on my site I have decided for those looking for my work to have a way to know that, yes this is that photographer with the two headed snake photos. I also put one in the slide show of the home page of this site. Thanks for looking and the support!

My friend told me that there may be only one spot left known in Borneo (though it may be found in other countries?) to find a specific pitcher plant. My interest in carnivorous plants made me want to photograph this plant. Alex explained there was a chance they may have been harvested or just died out and also the trek was not just a stroll in the park. But for me it was worth the chance to know that I would be one more person to have photographed it.

DSC_4853

This is a pitcher plant that was found. The following photo was taken to show how the pitcher is formed by the leaf of the plant. The pitchers are formed to collect water and to be a trap for insects as a source of nutrients.

pitcher plant

Photos from the journey for the plant.

On the way back

I never seem to justify through a photo what a trek may look like or feel like. The way to the plants my friend Alex led the way then I led on the way back so I could take photos of some of the hike. In the photo above Alex is approaching the bottom of the trail that is a V shape. The whole way up and down in this spot you are looking for secure foot and hand holds while its wet and slippery.  I’m not built like the usual hiker so to do these types of things is always a big deal in my mind, also this lets you know the things you wont know some photographers do just to get a shot of some things. I view peoples photos like a photographer and always wonder what was behind a shot I love.

 

Rock Face to climb

 

This part of the trek was the most difficult. Algae and moss covered wet rocks. There is no room for mistakes, if you slip, the drop off on the other side doesn’t stop for a long time.

I know nothing about this plant except what I have heard and experienced. Obviously the people who know of it are not taking them or none would be within my lens reach. Though I only saw 2 plants with them, and the one shown being the healthier of the two. Hopefully on the mountain side there is much more.

I am currently in the middle of a long trip visiting Borneo. Currently I am

in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. I will have stories and photos to follow.

My email s l i n k s w a y AT a o l . c o m is currently closed down because of my signing in from another country must have began to look like suspicious activity? Im hoping when I return to the states I can fix this problem.

So far I have went on some jungle hikes, visited an Iban Longhouse as the first American to set foot in that house, and visited a National Park. Next week I visit Bako National Park then fly to Sadankan to begin exploring a part of Sabah. Keep looking for many photos as I will begin a gallery with regards to this trip.

Kuching, Malaysia

Kuching, Malaysia