Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Burial Pole

This is the famous double-pole klirieng (burial pole) of the great Kajang Chief, Tama Tipong Tuloi of Belaga in Ulu Rajang. The impressive structure is now standing proudly in the compound of the new Sarawak Museum at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak. It was said that skilled craftsmen were imported from as far away as Pontianak in Kalimantan Indonesia to construct this unique structure. The massive structure stands about 9 metres high and is made from two single Belian trunk. Belian, which is also known as the Borneo Iron Wood, is very durable and can last for hundreds of years. In ancient times, several tribes in Borneo such as the Kajang, Sekapan,Kejaman,Lahanan,Berawan,Sebop and Melanau were practising this kind of burial. Only the rich and powerful aristocrats could afford such an elaborated and expensive affair.

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