Uko Usun

Kenyah People

Long Banga, Sarawak Malaysia

Uko (grandma/grandpa) Usun is a Kalibit elder from Long Banga. She is also one of the few Lutong players in the community. These beautiful Lutong she plays are all handmade and painted by her husband. 

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Back in Feb' 2017 in Long Banga...

We pulled into a garden and walked past a tapioca farm. Alena managed to find the right entrance from twenty or more without any signs and number plates. We didn’t knock, just walked in like everyone is trusted. We walked across the communal space, went through a few of those wooden doors until we finally saw an elderly grandma welcoming us with a big smile. She gave Alena a big hug; they haven’t seen each other since Alena was 15.

 

Uko(grandma/grandpa) Usun is one of the few Lutong players in the village. We were so fortunate to visit and record with her. The instrument Lutong looks like an artwork itself. It is a painted wooden box with six strings tied by six wood blocks. It didn’t take her too much time for tuning and soon after she started playing a traditional folk rhythm.

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