("remote people") is an ethnic designation politically coined to group together roughly 27 very small but ethnically diverse tribal groups in Sarawak
, with a population ranging from less than 300 persons to over 25,000 persons. Orang Ulu
is not a legal term and no such racial group exist or listed in the Malaysian
Constitution. The term was popularised by a minority association known as "Orang Ulu National Association" (OUNA) that was formed in 1969.
The Orang Ulu typically live in longhouses
elaborately decorated with murals and woodcarvings. They are also well-known for their intricate beadwork
. The Orang Ulu tribes can also be identified by their unique music - distinctive sounds from their sape’
, a plucked boat-shaped lute, formerly with two strings, nowadays usually with four strings.
A vast majority of the Orang Ulu tribes are Christians
but old traditional religions are still practiced in some areas.