Masing (left) presenting empurau fish fry to Tuai Rumah Gare for the longhouse’s ‘tagang’ system.

KAPIT: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri   Dr James Jemut Masing and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion made a working visit to Rumah Gare Timbang, Sungai Kain, Baleh recently.

Accompanying Masing and Jaul were Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong; Nicholas Kudi Jantai, a political secretary to the Chief Minister, Kapit Resident Nyurak Keti, Deputy Kapit Resident Galong Luang, Kapit District Officer Cerisologo Sabut, Bukit Mabong District Officer Douglas Pungga, Kapit Resident Office administrative officer Belayong Piok, Kapit police chief DSP Freddy Bian, Kapit District Council secretary Jabang Juntan, manager Kapit Civic Centre councillor Bakat Gira and community leaders.

Masing (right) and Jaul receiving a warm welcome upon their arrival at Rumah Gare.

The 30-door longhouse is located along Sungai Kain, a tributary of the Baleh Rver, in the hinterland of Kapit.

It is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles across a hilly terrain on the logging road — a journey of some two hours or more. 

The speed of the entire journey depends on the weather and road conditions.

Rumah Gare is one of the longhouses well-known for the Iban ‘pua kumbu’ weaving and the finest and best ‘pua kumbu’ come from it.

The ‘pua kumbu’ here fetch high prices and are highly demanded by visitors to Kapit.

The distance from Kapit to Rumah Gare is about 52km, including 30km of tar-sealed road from Kapit to Mujong Bridge, Baleh while another 22km is off road (logging road).

During the visit, Masing announced the improvement of the road project that covered a distance of 22km off road from Mujong Bridge to Rumah Gare, and another 5km access road that would benefit two nearby longhouses – Rumah Ensong and Rumah Layang. The total distance to be improved is 28km.

Masing (left) presenting empurau fish fry to Tuai Rumah Gare for the longhouse’s ‘tagang’ system.

The purpose of the visit was to prepare for the visit of the Queen, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah. She is tentatively scheduled to visit Rumah Gare in the second week of June.

It is believed her visit here is to meet the ‘pua kumbu’ weavers from Rumah Gare. In addition, the longhouse has a ‘tagang’ system for the rearing of the famous ‘empurau’ fish.

“We will demonstrate from A to Z all the stages of weaving the ‘pua kumbu’ to Her Majesty. We are indeed very proud that Her Majesty is going to pay us a visit,” said Tuai Rumah Gare.