"Sarawak - Land of the Hornbill!" MaryannPteo's Profile
Sarawak is the largest State in the Federation of Malaysia, with an area of approximately 124,450 sq km which accounts for about 37.5% of area of Malaysia and also Sarawak is blessed with vast of natural resources. It is a tropical country with an equatorial climate. it is hot throughout the year ranging from 23 degree to 32 degree celcius.The North East Monsoon occurs between November to February, which brings heavy rainfall. Kuching City is the capital of Sarawak, and Sarawak's population isn't so great comparing to the Peninsular Malaysia. Its population is only about 2.31 million throughout Sarawak State.
Tourists coming here are those who love nature and culture, where Sarawak maintain the culture of the natives. There are over 27 tribes of natives living throughout Sarawak and its country covers with 2/3 of rainforests , many rivers, and mountains.
Sarawak has more than 40 ethnic groups with their own language, culture and lifestyle. Kuching City and larger towns are populated Chinese and Malays and a smaller percentage of Ibans and Bidayuhs who have migrated from their home-villages for employment to bigger towns / City. Sarawak is rather distinctive from the rest of Malaysian State as there is only a small community of Indians living in the state. One of the most attractive features of the state of Sarawak and one which sets it aside from many of the other Malaysian states is its cultural diversity. With so many indigenous ethnic groups that speak several different languages and dialects, Sarawak can be proud for racial harmony amongst a variety of traditions, practices and religions.
One of the famous Cave with its popular bird nests which existed some 40, 000 years ago, Among the Paleolithic and Neolithic paintings and artifacts is South East Asia's oldest burial site, discovered in 1958. Today the local Penans climb films bamboo scaffolds to collect birds' nests from cave ceiling.
Today the cave is home only to bats and swiftlets . Some locals still venture in the dark to collect guanno ( bird and bat droppings used as fertilizer ).
The earliest phase of cave occupation is referred to as the Palaeolithic (old stone age) and occurs in the late Pleistocene epoch. The Pleistocene ends with the beginning of Holocene epoch around 10,000 years. There is evidence for the use of pottery as funerary gifts and also as burial jars, with much later evidence for the deposition of imported metals, ceramics and glass.
The Painted Cave is another highlight of a visit to Niah.
Area : 3140 hectres
The Park is dominated by sandstone mass of Gunong Mulu rises to 2,376m. Lower slopes are covered in dense tropical rainforest which rises to meet the forest of Mulu's upper slopes. Mulu is rich in plant and animal life. This virgin forests harbour not less than 20,000 animal species , mostly insects, over 3,500 plant species. In the limestones beneath the jungle canopy lie some of the world's most impressive caves. It includes the world's largest cave passage (Deer Cave ) the world's largest natural chamber ( Sarawak Chamber ) and at 107km longest cave in South East Asia ( Clearwater cave ) . Just for info Sarawak chamber can accommodate 40 (747 Boeing ) aircrafts . The four show caves are : Clearwater, Wind , Deer and Lang Caves can be visited as day trips from Mulu. More adventurous visitor is encouraged to do the Mulu summit, the head hunter's trail, the pinnacles or adventure caving
The Iban are the most numerous of Sarawak ethnic groups from 35% of Sarawak's population and are sometimes referred as "sea dayaks", once also famous for head hunting. They still maintain staying in longhouses as long as 24 doors with 24 families. The nearest Iban longhouse from Kuching City will take around four hours to reach by land and 45 minutes by a longboat which can accommodate only 4 people.
Reputed to be the most formidable head hunters on the island of Borneo, the Ibans of today are hospitable and placid people. The early Iban settlers who migrated from Kalimantan set up home in the river valleys of Batang Ai, the Skrang River, Saribas, and the Rajang River. The Ibans dwell in longhouses, a stilted structure comprising many rooms and many families. The Ibans are renowned for their Pua Kumbu (traditional Iban weavings), silver crafting and wooden carvings . Iban tattoos which were originally symbols of bravery for the Iban warriors . They are also well known for their tuak, a sweet rice wine which is served during festive and occasions. Many Ibans are Christians, but some still hold their traditional rituals and beliefs and celebrate the festivals such as Gawai Dayak a harvest festival, Gawai Antu a festival of the dead and also the Gawai Kenyalang which is the hornbill festival.
A well known dance among the Iban natives of Sarawak. Reputed to be the most fearsome of Borneo's headhunters it was long ago the Iban celebrated the captured heads with a grand festival called Hornbill Festival. It is believed that the magical power of the heads will bring strength, virture and prosperity to the long house. Today they are no more headhunters and have adopted a peaceful lifestyle. 35% of Sarawak population are the Ibans whom they were once called "sea dayaks". Any visitors visit to longhouses will see the real Ibans , the natural lifestyle and the performance of the Ngajat will always be unforgettable experience
Sarawak has the biggest wild population of these apes that are found in Borneo and Sumatra. They travel across vast ranges of forest browsing for fruits for food. Second in size comparing to the gorilla, the orang utan lives almost completely on trees. Swinging from branch to branch takes enormous strength.
Semonggoh wildlfe rehabilitation centre is a temporary home for various endangered wildlife of Sarawak especially orang utans which has rescued from captivity. They are trained to conditioned to learn their natural instincts living independently. This centre is part of Nature Study centre which consists of Botanical research centre, a Forest Nursery, Orchid, fern, Bamboo and wildlife gardens.
An orang-utans day consists of searching and eating food. They spend most of their time in the lower to middle branches of the trees. At night, they build large leafy nests in the trees, some 10m (33ft) above the ground. A new nest is built every night by bending over branches into a firm base and tucking in smaller twigs to make a springy mattress. They sleep on their backs or sides, sometimes with a hand under their head.
Life span : 30 years - 40 years
Protected area on 1 May 1957 and was published to public on 4 may 1957. Bako is Sarawak's oldest national park, covering an area of 2,727 hectares at the tip of the Muara Tebas peninsula. It is one of the smallest national park in Sarawak, yet one of the most interesting as it contains almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo. A well maintained network of trails from the forest to full day jungle treks, allows visitors to get the most out of this unique environment.
There are 54 species of Hornbills in the world. They comprise the order Bucerotiformes which is sub-divided into 2 families and 9 genera. Hornbills are strictly 'old world' birds meaning their range extends from Africa across India and Asia to Papua New Guinea. They do not occur in the Americas where a similar ecological niche of medium sized species is filled by Toucans. Hornbills come in a large range of sizes from the small Dwarf Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus camurus) weighing in at 111 grams to the Great Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) standing nearly 3 ft tall and weighing 4190 grams
One of the bird spiders cannot tackle is the hornbill. Black, and size of a swan, there are a few various species of hornbills. The picture indicates the most well known hornbills is distinguished by the casque. The huge beak is used to crack nuts and seeds of the fruits in the forest. The hornbill is an omen bird to one of the natives, Iban who had in mind that it carries messages from spirit world and also part of so many rituals and ceremonies for the Iban and had been adopted as Sarawak's State Bird.
Incubation begins with the first egg laid which means that the young hatch out in sequence rather than altogether. In the larger species only one or two eggs are laid, but in the smaller species as many as 8 eggs may be laid. This inevitably produces a succession of variably sized young. The percentage of young which survive will depend on the number of helpers and/or on the amount of food available. Incubation takes from between 23 and 46 days. The larger the species, the longer the incubation period. This correlation between size and developmental time also applies to the fledging period (the time it takes for the young to develop sufficient plumage to be able to fly) - the range is 42-137 days - smaller species reach sexual maturity in a year, medium sized species in two years, and larger species in 3-6 years.
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