Kampung Benuk

Location

Kampung Benuk or Bunuk is situated in Penrissen, 34 km from Kuching.

The daily activities are mainly traditional farming involving planting padi, pepper, rubber, cocoa, bananas and vegetables.   Some live in traditional longhouse while the rest live in typical modern Bidayuh village house.

Folklore/Tales/Legends

The Biperoh and Benuk/Segu groups came from Muk Rubuh or Sibata and Barun of Rabak Mikabuh. Muk Rubuh had six sons of who the third son, Sabu Pagunjaa cleared the land at Rabak Pata where he established the Benuk group.

The community was led by Bai Karang and often attacked by the Skrang Dayaks and other pirates in the olden days. According to the Bebenuk legend, Mangbarik, the famous warrior of Benuk fought very bravely protecting the villagers and killed many enemies of whom the skulls are kept in the Panggah. The enemies were cursed and turned into stones known as the Batu Jung or the junk stone which is half submerged in the river nearby the village.

Heritage

  1. The Longhouse

With its history of being the first Bidayuh longhouse in Sarawak, the longhouse is one of the last remaining traditional longhouse in the Bidayuh community. It has a distinctive architectural and cultural features made from local materials such as the bamboo built on stilts with traditional timber wood staircase. There are also a number of traditional bamboo bridges in the area.

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  1. Community Hall

There is a traditional community hall called the Baruk with a model of Bidayuh Longhouse displayed in the hall.

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  • Panggah – The Ritual House

Panggah is a Ritual House. It keeps the human skulls, cut off by headhunters before the Seventies and tools for rituals. There is also a mini museum which has a collection of potteries, musical instruments and other artifacts. Panggah normally located at the end of the longhouse,  built by a troop of engineers. In the hall, you can see displays of mini replica of longhouses of all types, some wooden musical instruments, woven mats and a stove in the middle with skulls from the head-hunting era hanging on it.

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  1. Mini Museum

The mini museum is located on the ground floor of family home of the late ceremonial chief, Paka, descendants of Kampung Benuk’s original Tua Gawai (ritual head) lineage, situated atop a small mound overlooking the village. It was initiated by his father, Otor.

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It displays private collection of family’s own cluster of antiques, brassware, porcelain vessels and old ritual necklaces, rare beads with one necklace dating back to the 19th century. He also had a penchant for collecting everything and anything, especially that of an antiques nature.

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He left behind a large stash of old photographs, family documents, collection of heirlooms, ritual objects, local tools, household implements, Japanese Occupation banknotes, black and white television sets, Ventolin syrup glass bottles as well as various other items. Before his death, the mini museum was much his domain, as he acquired new objects, he rearranged the displays.

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The museum also  displays musical instruments such as gongs and drums. Farming equipments, rattan baskets, traditional clothes and accessories, ritual paraphernalia, and other Bidayuh cultural heritage.

 

Geographical Features

  1. Junk Stone

Batu Jung or the junk stones are believed to be the enemies who were cursed and turned into stones half submerged in the river nearby the village.

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  1. Skuh Gung Cave

The cave is easily reached by road.

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  • Geological Landmarks

The landmark consists of rivers, caves (e.g., Gua Jaoi), mountains and waterfall.

 

Vegetation

The vegetation is of the lush tropical rainforest.

Recreation

  1. Jungle trekking along the cool clear water stream with bamboo bridge crossing is accompanied by the beautiful mountainous scenery that can include caving activities and visit to legendary Junk Stone and Skuh Gung Cave. Bamboo Rafting or Kayaking along the river are also available.

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  1. There are also Agro-activities like tapping rubber and pepper gardening with briefing like rubber tapping. The entrance fee is RM6.00 per person.
  • Mountain Biking track with a single track in and out trail within Kampung Benuk.
  1. Homestay programme offers visitors with an excellent opportunity to experience the exotic culture, warmth and hospitality along with nature at its best. Visitors will be greeted with traditional welcoming dance. They can experience the rich traditional lifestyle of the Bidayuh community and having the choice to live with foster family. One of the highlights of the community is the Gawai Dayak Festival celebrations.

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  1. A visit to a Bidayuh traditional longhouse, Panggah, a mini museum, a river crossing on a bamboo bridge, a trip to the padi farm, rubber plantation as well as pepper garden.
  2. A small shop at the entrance of the kampung has bottled drinks and local produce such as peppers, etc, offered for sale. Some antiques are sold for a very reasonable price.
  • The Benuk Longhouse is open to the public for visitation. The entrance fees are as stated:

Entrance fee /tour rate:

Activities Rate (RM)
Entrance fee (with guide) 5.00 per person
Entrance fee (without guide) 5.00 per person
Entrance fee (with guide) 15.00 per person
Gawai Dayak Package 1500.00 per person

Accessibility

  1. Public transportation available

Transportation such as public bus, taxi or rental car can be used to reach the village. It is located 50 kilometre from Kuching to the Benuk Longhouse. The Sarawak Transport Company (STC) Bus No. 9 starts from Kuching’s Lebuh Jawa leaving every 30 minutes from the depot. The whole journey to the area will take two hours.

 

Accomodation Availabilities

The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit individual travellers’ needs. Service-minded staff will welcome and guide the way at the Kampung Benuk Homestay. The charge for two days and one night is MYR 180.00 per pax with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The charges for three days and two nights is chargeable from MYR 280.00 per pax that includes; accommodation at foster family’s home with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Entrance fee /tour rate:

Tour Rate Rate (RM)
2 Days 1 Night (B/L/D) 180.00 per person
3 Days 2 Nights (B/L/D) 280.00 per person

Cr. Isabell Julau Ak. Mejat
Tel: +6019-8498413/+6013-5746269
Fax: +6082-626704
Email: benukhomestay@yahoo.com
Address: Kampung Benuk Homestay, 166, Lorong 1B, Taman Samax, Batu 6, Jalan Penrissen Kuching, Sarawak

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