Introduction to Kg Lamunin Village
Kg Lamunin, and the neighbouring villages, is situated in Mukim Lamunin, Tutong district. It is an ideal destination for visitors who want to explore a village rich in culture and nature but has popular tourist sites. You can get various fresh forest resources every morning after early harvesting by the local villagers.
Although the village population and housing being dispersed widely, villagers are still able to recognise each other and are genuinely very friendly and approachable people. Even though, the villagers do not speak fluent English, they are willing to talk with foreign visitors by using other means of communications such hand gesture.
In Kg Lamunin there are multiple ethnicity and backgrounds, due to intermarriage between 5 community groups, many of which decided to stay at Kg Lamunin once they had married from outside of their own community group. There are 5 community groups in Kg Lamunin where the majority population is Dusun Ethnic, the other community groups are Kedayan Ethnic, Tutong Ethnic, Iban Community and Chinese Community.
Kg Lamunin has previously recorded the initial dynamic migration of Kedayan community into Kg Lamunin. Since Kedayans like to move around, Brunei Darussalam in Tutong Districts and Kg Lamunin are one of the locations where their ancestors chose to reside. This can still be found to be true today, not just amongst the older generation. Bruneian Kedayan identities have changed after most Kedayan people chose embracing Islam and incorporated the Islamic values while maintaining the Kedayan ethnic culture and traditions that are not against the Islamic law. There were records of three types of Dusun ethnic; Upland Dusun community, Lowland Dusun Community and Coastal Dusun Community which indicate the majority population distribution of Dusun in Kg Lamunin.
Despite the influence of modernisation, residents in this village still manage to maintain the local traditional and cultural values. In fact, due to modernisation there is visible improvement in terms of the village development and the standard of living. This has helped them to live in harmony between people and nature, sustainably.
The general aging population tends to participate in more of the hands-on activities that are suited to their expertise, such as commercial agriculture, forest farming, handicrafts, fishing, hunting, foraging, gathering, rubber tapping, traditional food making, wood craving and machete making. Meanwhile, the independent population either assist the older generation on a daily basis while commuting to work in Tutong Town or in the major working districts. Alternatively, the youth population spend most of their days at school and accompanying their parents or relatives for other outdoor activities during free any time or holidays. It is common during the holiday or festive season, for people who originated from Tutong, but reside in the capital city, to return to their home town to meet family and friends.
Initially, homes that were closer to the river were preferred as it was easier to obtain resources for housing. Until recently, some people were still using wood which the locals obtain from the nearby forest. However, the road accessibility, modern infrastructure and materials have made the process of constructing houses easier and, in fact, there are local timber companies that can supply wood and other construction materials from the nearby hardware store. This, over time has been a benefit in reducing deforestation and forest disturbance.
Nowadays the housing around Kg Lamunin is not only near the river but sometimes closer to the dense forest, where some seek space for agriculture that is not prone to flooding. Another reason today many people search for land in the higher ground is because of the climate which can cause more frequent flooding events than previously recorded. Extensive deforestation in certain upstream areas and hindrance of river water in the downstream region has caused devastating effects to the locals in the middle region of Tutong Districts such as Kg Lamunin.
Locals with traditional ecological knowledge managed to identify certain natural materials with a better tolerance. This can help protect them from being damaged by water, salinity, as well as biological damages by termites or aquatic organisms. Some locals are experts in building houses that could withstand the effect of flood water which indicates that the older generation are skilful and knowledgeable individuals who have been able to pass down their expertise to their descendants and apprentices. It is a testament to this that some of the traditional houses are still standing today or have lasted for more than a decade.
The Highway that connects Brunei-Muara District, Tutong District and Belait District also connects other urban areas. This has made more opportunities for the local residents in Kg Lamunin to seek employment, not only within the village but also to other districts further away.
There is no specific main occupation of the local in Kg Lamunin even though occasionally during their free time, they would do some farming and forest foraging as a side income. Activities to sustain their family standard of living are carried out and can include the selling of produce at the nearby stall or shop. Often, they sell at the popular Tutong Market that opens every Thursday on weekly, as people and tourists from around Brunei Darussalam are willing to travel to purchase fresh local products and ingredients. Otherwise, people will work fulltime away from the village if there is no available employment that is suited to the individual’s educational qualifications and/or years of experiences in certain skillsets, especially with an IT background.
For those of you who like to immerse themselves in the culture of an area, you will be welcomed in this village, as you learn more of the family traditions and about the nature here from various tourist sites found around Kg Lamunin. The village has its own traditional dance that consists of local ethnic youth that always assists with cultural performances at Kg Lamunin. Performances are typically accompanied with traditional songs being played with traditional musical instruments such as Gongs, Gulingtangan, Gambus, biola, dombak and rebana during the ethnic festival event. If you are fortunate, there will be local villagers willing to bring you with them to help harvest some forest resources from their farm land.
Top Tips for your stay in Kg Lamunin Village
Depending on how long you will be staying in the area, and the places that you would like to visit, we recommend you make contact for more details and to pre-book any accommodation, activities and meals. We suggest you arrange any transportation, prepare your itineraries to include enough time for you to explore.
Upon arrival, please follow the instructions or advice of each host and please behave appropriately and respectfully towards the community and the village. We wholeheartedly encourage you to support local businesses by purchasing products and souvenirs, sharing about your best experiences at the tourist sites. It goes without saying that visitors should not take important items from the community or leave anything unnecessary behind, at the tourist locations.
Visitors are advised to prepare their personal necessities such as First aid Kits, insect repellent, additional clothing or shoes, power banks, extension chargers, a portable fan and a camera to capture beautiful moments while travelling.