sign in a cave in Laos

31 July 2011

Gua Badak, Lenggong, Perak

The Negrito aboriginal cave art at Lenggong is modern graffiti! There are a series of charcoal drawings on the rock cliff at Gua Badak, north of Lenggong.

The Lanoh Negritos made the illustrative recordings of their lives in charcoal. The drawings were first discovered and documented in the 1920's by Ivor Norman Evans (his first study was in 1918), then by P.D.R.Williams-Hunt in 1950, who records five sites at Gua Badak. The drawings were then thought to have been lost by quarrying. However they were re-discovered in March 1992.

Gua Badak hill

1991 photo (above)
2007 photo

The sketches depict tribal art such as animals, people, trees, mats and even bicycles and motorcars. Apart from the charcoal drawings, they made white pictures by scrapping away the limestone rock.

The drawings are simple, using matchstick men.

There is a man carrying a pole laden with coconuts and a berok monkey to pluck the coconuts. A bow and arrow symbolize their hunting tools which were replaced by the blowpipe.

The Negritos had seen cars so drew those. There are men on horses, a man with an elephant, a hunting party. Animals shown such as leaf monkeys, monitor lizard, porcupine are all good eating.

Sadly there is no protection for the paintings, and they are exposed to the elements as well as algae etc.

Gua Badak register number Prk 60/01.
See more on Malaysian cave paintings and an updated post on Gua Badak Aug 2012.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

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