From my previous project "Bejalai" (you can watch the trailer above), I found out that back in the days, when the Iban migrated to Sarawak from Kalimantan, they have also learned tattooing from their Penan trekkers, part of the Orang Ulu.

Unlike the Iban, all Orang Ulu tattoo artists were women. Orang Ulu tattoo has not been practiced for many years, but the designs worn on living flesh continue to be stunning in their simplicity yet powerful in their abstraction. Until recently, tattooing here remained relatively unrecognized from an artistic standpoint.

Today, Orang Ulu tattoo is a dying, if not already dead, traditional practice. Disruptions to indigenous culture as a result of missionization and modernity continue to pave the way for a relinquishing of ancient customs.

I am on a personal mission to meet the women of Orang Ulu, who were once tattoo artists. Even if I have to travel into the interior of Sarawak but all that will begin from a small town called Belaga.

Uzair Sawal

About Me

Hey, my name is Uzair. I love making videos and most of the times, I use it to tell stories.

Recently, I made a short documentary about an old tradition of the Iban called "Bejalai" (you can click on the link for the trailer). I learn a lot about our culture from hearing their untold stories.

From that project, I realised that there are more things that we do not know and it is right in our own backyard. If nobody is going to document their stories, it will die with them and future generations will never get to learn about their ancestors.

How I Plan To Go Forth

With the fund, it will help me kickstart the research for this particular subject.

Depending on the amount given, I am hoping to be able to document the vanishing culture before it is forgotten.

What is the point to go forth but not knowing where we came from?

Find Out More About Me


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