Location : Kampung Serumah, Padawan, Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
After a quick breakfast of coffee & sticky bamboo rice at the village roadside coffeshop we drove to the trailhead 2 minutes away. Local guides Jinet & Kelvin decided we took the stream up to the waterfall which is the source of water for Gayu & Serumah. Clear clean water made the trek very cool and relaxing. Checked out the upper tiers before we had our lunch break and a dip in the pool.
The return trek through the jungle &farm was made more interesting as we reached the site of the Old Serumah as Jinet showed us where his old house used to stand. The whole place is completely abandoned except for a huge dilapidated stilted house that still stores a collection of skulls and other secret stuff in a wooden box that could be seen from below the house. The annual ritual of ‘nyobeng’ or bathing of these heroic collections stopped when the last shaman passed away some years ago. I wish some local guy would document all the artefacts in this museum-like house and all the stories that go with it, going back to the headhunting days, before all is forgotten by the younger generation.
I took one long look at this unusually huge house before continuing with our trek back to our car. Had a cold can of 100+ and proceeded to Seromah’s blacksmith Mr Mawun to watch him hammering out a sickle.
Being the only blacksmith left in Borneo Heights his day is pretty busy with either making new stuff or repairing old parangs. His son helps in the carving of handles & sheaths – very skilful judging by the work he did on my Ghurkha knife.
Thanks to my buddy Richard Jong & his colleagues for making this trip possible.