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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  Borneo Longhouse

 

Malaysia

The outside of a Longhouse used by the Iban tribe (fig.) in Borneo, a communal one-room building in the jungle, which is locally known as rumah panjang.

 

Typically, these houses have a large and wide balcony, which is used for all kinds of outdoor activities.

 

  Borneo Longhouse

 

  Borneo Longhouse

 

It is also used to dry laundry and a variety of crops, which are spread out on large bamboo mats.

 

Borneo Longhouses are built on stilts for protection from flooding and cooling by air. Like most tribal houses on stilts, the place underneath is usually used as a shelter against the sun or rain, and is often utilized to keep domestic animals.

 

  Borneo Longhouse

 

  Borneo Longhouse

 

On the inside, the living area is one large undivided space, which is shared with a number of families. Many a Iban Longhouse may also have skulls hanging inside (fig.), a reminder of their culture of headhunting.