Sarawak. They are a component of the group of indigenous people collectively known as Orang Ulu, and should not be confused with the Penan. They are also unrelated to another tribe called Punan found in neighbouring Kalimantan. They got their name Punan, or Punan Bah, from the rivers where they lived.
Punan people are slash-and-burn farmers who cultivated hill rice, maniok, taro, sugar cane and tabacco. They also hunt for meat such as wild boar.
Punans live mostly in the Bintulu Division as well as along the Rajang River.
Punan are best known for their unique burial custom. Their aristocrats are not buried, but rather placed high on poles known as kelirieng. These poles can be as high as 10 meters, and were put up during the time when the Punan were still animist. Today many have embraced Christianity. Only about 30 kelirieng poles are still found in Sarawak, many already aged and in stages of decay.
For more information about the Punan, visit also the Punan National Association website, http://punan.net/ Their office is at 5 Taman Megajuta, Lorocn 1C1m Jalan Batu Kawa, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak.
Punan is a tribe in