MAPs & Models

These maps, of past and present, depict where the community of Nanga Jela's original longhouse was in the 1970s and where it exists now. Explore below to see maps from before and after the Batang Ai Dam, and to examine a reconstructed model of the 39-door longhouse.

Past: Before the Batang Ai Dam

This depicts an aerial map of the area around Nanga Jela before the Batang Ai Dam was built. The images around the map show various points of interest.


present: after the Batang Ai Dam

This map shows the current geography of the land where Nanga Jela once stood. After the Batang Ai Dam was built, the longhouse was drowned and evidence of the former Nanga Jela community scattered. This map also shows points of interest, including where new longhouses were built and populated by the community.



past to present

This GIF shows the gradual transition of the old location of Nanga Jela into the now-submerged reservoir after the completion of the 1985 Batang Ai Hydropower project, which flooded the area and forced those living in the original Nanga Jela longhouse to relocate. It is clear that the area changed drastically, along with the lifestyles of the Iban living there.

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This three-dimensional model shows what the former Nanga Jela longhouse -- the center of the community -- looked like. The first picture depicts what one door (a family) and its corresponding section of living space might have resembled. The second shows just how long the structure had to be to accommodate the entire community.


This map showcases where the Iban of Nanga Jela are now. Some are on bejalai (extended travel or journey) to work or explore, and others have relocated and married in different regions or even different countries. The Diaspora Project, or Selfie Project, examines the wide scope of the former Nanga Jela community through mapping as well as pictures and personal stories.