No fetish for heritage here, and yet…


Memories and mementoes link back to the old way of life in Ba Kelalan.

I was looking out of a window in the longhouse when a local resident asked if I could spot the ancient stone mound, called a perupun in the local language, which is often associated with burials.

I knew that there was once a large perupun at the site of the longhouse in Buduk Nur, the largest village in Ba Kelalan. I had heard the story of the mound being the mythical burial site of the daughter of the mythical giant, Upai Semaring, who had migrated here from Kalimantan before heading to Brunei.

But I had never seen it. The perupun had long been cleared away, with its stones being used to build the foundations of people’s houses. Some of the stones could, however, still be seen in the foundation of the longhouse! It was jarring, to say the least.

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