Documentation of Sihan, an endangered language of Borneo

Documentation of Sihan, an endangered language of Borneo

Language: Sihan (ISO639-3:spg)
Depositor: Peter Puxon
Deposit Id: 0530
Grant id: SG0463
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit
Sihan (Sian) is a severely endangered language spoken by a formerly nomadic community located in and around the town of Belaga in Sarawak, Malaysia. The number of speakers of Sihan is less than 250. This project aims to document traditional narratives, healing songs, epic poems, and hunting and foraging practices as well as a wide variety of naturally occurring speech. Community members will be trained in techniques to document and record this knowledge and a translated audio-visual corpus will be produced. From this corpus a collection of traditional knowledge and oral literature will be created as well as a thematic dictionary.

Group represented
The Sihan people are former hunter-gatherers who are now settled in three places in the 7th division of Sarawak, Malaysia. They still maintain their old longhouse in the upper Menamang River, a tributary of the Balui, while also residing in a new village along the upper Dangan river and living in Belaga town. They move frequently between these three places, hunting and farming while at the longhouses and working as wage labourers when in Belaga town. Most people make their living through a combination of wage labour in Chinese shop houses, palm oil and rubber cropping, and hunting and gathering.

Special characteristics

Deposit contents

Deposit history
The documentation of Sihan will begin in August 2018.

Other information

Acknowledgement and citation
To refer to any data from the collection, please cite the corpus in this way:

Puxon, Peter. 2018. Documentation of Sihan, an endangered language of Borneo . London: SOAS, Endangered Language Archive. URL: Accessed on [insert date here].


Resources yet to be deposited


Peter Puxon
Affiliation: SOAS University of London

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2019 March 24 to 2019 March 24
Deposit hits:1
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