• Short Summary

    THE SMALL TOWN OF MARUDI, IN SARAWAK'S FOURTH DIVISION, WAS THE SCENE OF AN INTERNATIONAL GATHERING LAST WEEKEND.

  • Description

    THE SMALL TOWN OF MARUDI, IN SARAWAK'S FOURTH DIVISION, WAS THE SCENE OF AN INTERNATIONAL GATHERING LAST WEEKEND. THOUSANDS OF CENTRAL BORNEO TRIBESMEN, AS WELL AS CHINESE, MALAY AND EUROPEAN IN HABITANTS CONVERGED ON THE TOWN, SITUATED SOME 350 MILES NORTH-EAST OF KUCHING. THE REASON FOR THEIR VISIT WAS TO WITNESS ONE OF THE MOST COLOURFUL AND SPECTACULAR EVENTS OF THE YEAR -- THE BARAM RIVER REGATTA.

    SINCE THE FIRST BARAM REGATTA WAS HELD 70 YEARS AGO -- IN THE DAYS OF BROOKE RUE IN BORNEO -- THE BIENNIAL EVENT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST IN THE CALENDAR FOR THE SCATTERED KELABIT, KENYAH, AND IBAN LONGHOUSE DWELLERS OF CENTRAL BORNEO.

    THE REGATTA, HELD ON MAY 14 AND 15, BROUGHT EXCITEMENT TO MARUDI. THE SPECTATORS TRAVELLED IN MOTOR LAUNCHES WHICH TOOK ONE DAY'S OUTBOARD JOURNEY FROM THE REMOTE AREAS ALONG THE BARAM RIVER.

    THE BARAM RIVER IS THE SECOND LONGEST RIVER IN SARAWAK. THROUGHOUT THE AGES, IT HAS BEEN THE GREAT HIGHWAY WHEREBY VARIOUS RACES HAVE ENTERED SARAWAK. THE NAME BARAM MEANS 'JUICE OF THE PINEAPPLE.'
    THE BOOM OF A CANNON, USED IN THE DAYS OF THE WHITE RAJAH OR BROOKE RUE, MARKED THE OPENING OF THE REGATTA. PRESENT WERE SARAWAK'S CHIEF MINISTER, MR. STEPHEN KALONG NINGKAN, THE VISITING DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA, TUN ABDUL RAZAK AND THE MINISTER OF SARAWAK AFFAIRS, TEMMENGONG JUGAH.

    THE CENTRE OF ATTRACTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE FIERCELY CONTESTED BOAT RACES -- EACH BOAT BELONGING TO A PARTICULAR LONG HOUSE OR TRIBE. THE BOATS ARE FASHIONED FROM A SINGLE DUG-OUT TREE AND USUALLY CREWED BY ABOUT 60 PAINTED OARSMEN CLAD IN LOIN CLOTHS.

    LAST WEEK'S REGATTA CONSISTED OF 30 RACES, HIGHLIGHTED BY CHALLENGE EVENTS BETWEEN TRIBAL HEADMEN AND EUROPEAN INHABITANTS OF THE REGION, INCLUDING A TEAM OF AMERICAN PEACE CORPS AND ONE FROM BRITAIN.

    THE WOMEN, TOO, COMPETED IN THE RACES, WHICH WERE MARRED BY ONE SPILL -- AN ENTRY FROM BRITAIN. THEY WERE QUICKLY RESCUED FROM THE SWIFT-FLOWING WATER BY A MOTOR LAUNCH.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEYZOP3JYFGIUKJZLX83RX1IOI
    Media URN:
    VLVAEYZOP3JYFGIUKJZLX83RX1IOI
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/05/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:20:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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