Penan - History and Cultural Relations

The Penan know little about their history, but probably they arrived in their present location by traveling through the Lio Matu area from Pejungan. The trend toward settlement and agriculture has a long history, and this trend has been encouraged by colonial governments. The Penan have occupied settlements on the Niah, Suai, and Buk rivers since the early nineteenth century. Western Penan can trace their genealogies that far back as well. Assimilation is occurring at an increasing rate. Both Eastern and Western Penan have borrowed cultural features from the settled longhouse dwellers. They secure their manufactured trade goods from settled patrons, who profit greatly from the Penan's gathered goods.

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