Its architecture and construction are adapted to the raw materials available to the Iroquois in their immediate surroundings, and to the tools and technology in their possession. An Iroquois longhouse Longhouses are exactly that:
Villagers welcome visitors into their fold, share space in Longhouses, take walks along the Utik River, long considered their source of life. The shared experienceboth by community members and visitorsis compelling.
Visitors can now enjoy the slow life and traditions from the community who invite them to stay at traditional longhouses. Here, retention of vast tracts of primary forests and secures the future of the Dayak community.
I entered Sungai Utik Village with quite a bit of fanfare. A delegation of young Dayak Iban dancers was anxiously waiting at the front entrance to the village, their glittery headpieces catching the afternoon light. With a few nervous giggles, they motioned for us to follow them to their home — a traditional longhouse.
Inside, the entire village was waiting for us and gathered around excitedly, saying how happy they were to meet people who hailed from Poland, Australia and New Zealand.
They were clearly amazed how far we had travelled to meet them. With a tinkling of anklets and sweet voices serenading us, our small group was led along the side of the metre longhouse to the front entrance, where we ascended an ancient, ironwood staircase.
This consisted of a huge log with A longhouse villiage carved out in ornate designs. As we entered the longhouse we were instructed to spill some ijuk, a creamy white drink on the floor.
This was for the ancestors, and the rest was for us as part of our welcome. All the families from the longhouse, which accommodated people, sat waiting with beaming smiles. We were invited to join them on their rattan tikar mats and take part in the tolak bala ritual.
Bandi, the elderly Dayak Iban village leader, conducted the ritual. I could not take my eyes off his tattoo motifs, especially the flowers adorning the top of his shoulders and the intricate designs on his hands. His back, chest and neck were also tattooed. I soon noticed that all the men had tattoos, and later found out that tattooing forms an important part of the tradition for males, with the motifs on their shoulders symbolising strength and protection.
The ritual began with a live chicken being raised in the air and Bandi reciting mesmerizing chants welcoming us to the village. We were then treated to a beautiful traditional dance followed by a delicious afternoon tea.
This was comprised of miniature rice flour pancakes, strong coffee and that milky drink again. Bandi explained to us that it was tapped daily from the ijuk tree, after which a piece of bark was added to assist the fermentation process, making it alcoholic.
It was very reassuring to learn that our invitation to visit this lovely community seemed to have already become an invitation to return and we had only just arrived. That is Dayak Iban hospitality. We were shown to our room and met the lovely family who would be sharing their living space with us for the next three days.
Surprisingly modern— and it was more than just a room—there was a large formal lounge, two guest rooms, a second lounge, a bathroom and a western toilet. It also had a TV and a washing machine. I was not expecting such wellappointed digs.
Communal longhouse living is, by necessity, very organised. I noticed a village letterhead invitation had been tacked to all 28 doors advising of the upcoming village council meeting, which was to be conducted in the communal front verandah, which stretched the whole length of the longhouse.
The river became my favourite place to spend time over the next three days. In the late afternoon it became a playground for tag, jump, run, swing, as the village kids leapt from rocks and clung to vines. It was the most entertaining and lively scene.
The forest that surrounds the village is now protected under customary law. Through this means, the village had managed to keep mining, palm oil and other corporate interests out of their forests.
No one can take it from us now. The company tried to harvest wood but was met with resistance from the local people.A small Iroquois village might have only four or five longhouses, while a large village would have more than The larger villages were sometimes called “castles” by the European immigrants and had populations of about 3, people.
Life in a Longhouse Village was a way of life all of the nations shared. Children will learn about the fascinating lifestyle of these hunters and farmers and discover what life was like in a longhouse clan/5(1).
The dioramas include a scale model of an Iroquois village, part of a full sized longhouse with furnishings, and an agricultural field. This website presents scenes from these dioramas and explanatory text on Iroquois longhouses, village life and agriculture.
A small Iroquois village might have only four or five longhouses, while a large village would have more than The larger villages were sometimes called “castles” by the European immigrants and had populations of about 3, people.
I noticed a village letterhead invitation had been tacked to all 28 doors advising of the upcoming village council meeting, which was to be conducted in the communal front verandah, which stretched the whole length of the longhouse.
Owned and operated by the Old Massett Village Council’s Economic Development Team, the Hiellen Longhouse Village is located next to provincial park land, and surrounded by endless beaches, wilderness and outdoor adventure.
Join them for an authentic, and unforgettable experience.