The Kenjaman
Back to tribes

The Kenjaman

Ancient villagers

Ancient villagers

With their small population, the Kenjaman people largely live in two villages; Rumah Kejaman and Rumah Kejaman Ba. Experience life alongside the Rejang River with a community working to keep its language and spirit alive.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Southern Asia

  • Climate here is Tropical

  • The challenge here is Medium

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

Natural resources were essential for their livelihood and in the past there were clear divisions of labor. However, most of the young generations now leave their villages for work in the cities.
Home

Home

They live in communal longhouse-style buildings, separated into individual dwellings for each family.

Culture

Social Structure

Their social structure used to follow a caste system including nobility and commoners, but is now more informal.

Religion

While many still follow the native tradition, some have now converted to Christianity.

Traditions

Similar to other small tribes in Sarawak, the Kejamen have a rich heritage of body modification including tattoos and piercings.

Language

The Kejaman language is currently in danger of disappearing. When speaking with other groups, they speak languages such as Bahasa Melayu or English.

Art

Suwey is a Kejaman traditional dance performed for festivities or celebrations and to honor guests. In 2016 the tribe set Malaysia's record for the highest number of people to participate in the dance at once.

Celebrations

The Kejamen believe in hospitality, so many celebrations center on welcoming visitors.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

In 2016, they created a picture dictionary in order to preserve their native language in collaboration with Kota Kinabalu Polytechnic and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.





Photo credit: River Melinau
iStock.com/DavorLovincic

Photo credit: Sarawak woman
iStock.com/eskaylim

Photo credit: Sarawak cultural village
iStock.com/slovegrove

Photo credit: Man fishing
iStock.com/slovegrove

Photo credit: Sarawak river
iStock.com/robas

Photo credit: Longhouse in Sarawak
iStock.com/davincidig