The Punan Batu (or Cave Punan) are the last-known mobile hunter-gatherers on the island of Borneo—and probably in all of Asia.
For centuries, their unique culture has thrived in the dense tropical forests of Borneo, unknown to the outside world until now. We invite you to be among the first to learn about this remarkable group of people.
Join us on October 16 at 7:00 CT for an exclusive opportunity to listen to the Punan Batu song language, learn about their way of life, and help secure their future.
In this online, salon-style event, you will hear the story of the Punan Batu from Leakey Foundation grantee Steve Lansing, an anthropologist who received an unexpected invitation to meet the Punan Batu in 2018. He soon learned of their culture of sharing, their deep history in Indonesia, and their connection with the forest.
Perhaps one of the most extraordinary components of the Punan Batu’s cultural heritage is a poetic “song language,” which they sing in caves at night.
Sadly, many of their songs today have a dominant theme: sorrow over the loss of their forest lands.
The Leakey Foundation, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Lansing, and his Indonesian colleagues are working with the Punan Batu to preserve their forest home and their way of life for generations to come.
Details and Registration
• Hosted by Diana McSherry and Jorge Leis
• Friday, October 16 at 7:00 CT
• Speakers will be Leakey Foundation grantee Dr. J. Stephen Lansing, and Dr. Edward Game, Lead Scientist Asia Pacific, The Nature Conservancy
• Donations of any amount are welcomed.
• All donations will be matched by John Swift, up to a total of $15,000!
• Artist Vibeke Sorenson has created four silk scarf designs from GPS data showing how the Punan Batu move through the forest. These limited edition scarves are for our most generous donors.
If you are able to make a donation of $500 or more, you will receive one of these beautiful scarves.
When you wear it, you will be reminded of the Punan Batu and the crucial role you have played in preserving their way of life.