Map I Treks
& Trails I Getting
Settlements I Visiting
The Park I The
Great Cave I
Cave I Birds
Wildlife and The Rainforest
Shortly after the Moon Cave, the plankwalk emerges into daylight
and a short pathway through the forest leads to the Painted cave.
This is the site of the Famous Niah cave paintings and the place
where the 'death-ships' were found. The contents of the death-ships
have since been transferred to the Sarawak Museum, but the cave
paintings and some of the empty death-ships can still be viewed
on the wall behind the fenced-off burial site.
The painting can be difficult to see unless you allow your eyes
to become accustomed to the light. They are rendered in red hematite
and cover a long narrow strip (approximately 30m) at the back
of the cave wall. They portray spread-eagled human figures, probably
representing warriors and hunters, some of the animals of the
surrounding forest, and - most importantly - longboats carrying
the souls of the souls of the deceased on the dangerous journey
to the land of the dead.
Although the burial site at the Painted Cave is far more recent
than those at the Great Cave, It is no less important as it offers
a clear insight into the development of the traditional religions
of Borneo. It is worth spending some time at the Painted Cave,
as the atmosphere of the place is very tranquil and relaxing.
It is easy to understand why Niah's earlier inhabitants felt it
was a suitable resting place for their ancestors.