In 1839, James Brooke, a British explorer, arrived in Sarawak.
These birds are important cultural symbols for the Dayak people, representing the spirit of God.
It is also believed that if a hornbill is seen flying over residences, it will bring good luck to the local community.
As of the 2015 census, the total population of Sarawak is 2,636,000.
Sarawak has an equatorial climate with tropical rainforests and abundant animal and plant species.
On 22 July 1963, Sarawak was granted self-government by the British and subsequently became one of the founding members of the Federation of Malaysia, established on 16 September 1963.
However, the federation was opposed by Indonesia leading to a three-year confrontation.
However, the latter explanation is flawed: the territory had been named Sarawak before the arrival of James Brooke, and the word awak was not in the vocabulary of Sarawak Malay before the formation of Malaysia.
Sarawak is nicknamed "Land of the Hornbills" (Bumi Kenyalang).
By the early 19th century, the Bruneian Empire was in decline and only retained a tenuous hold along the coastal regions of Sarawak, which were controlled held by semi-independent Malay leaders.