It’s that time of the year again when the harvest festival is back! Celebrated by the Dayak community in Sarawak on June 1st of every year, the Gawai festival is a holiday much anticipated by not only native Borneans but also our non-native brethren. Gawai itself means festival in the Iban language. Before the 60s,… Continue reading Of Gawai and Gawea
Like the widespread animistic beliefs of prehistoric Borneo, the Iban held similar belief systems based on omens, birds and rituals. An aggressive and ruthless tribe, they were famed for their ngayau (headhunting). Unlike the Kayan, one of their bitterest foes, they do not have a stratified society. Here is a brief outline of the pantheon… Continue reading Iban Cosmology
The Kenyahs are highly artistic people living in the interiors of Borneo. Unlike their Orang Ulu counterpart the Kayan, Kenyah is a collective term for groups of people sharing a similar culture and linguistic origin, yet distinct from the Kayan. Oral traditions has it that the Kenyahs arrived from across the sea (China?) and landed… Continue reading Evolution of the Kenyah cosmology
I will attempt to describe some of the Ibans oral literature applied for various rituals and ceremonies. Some are still practised today, while most are forgotten or became redundant as head hunting became a thing of the past. 1. Timang: is a form of ritual chant or invocation, a complex and elaborate Iban oral literature… Continue reading Iban oral literature (Rituals)
The generation of today is living in a world where they are offered a vast array of choices, whether in music, pop culture or dance. With that, comes the decline of interest in traditional arts, culture and music. It’s inevitable, as things are everchanging. The custodians of traditional culture are gradually declining, as fewer and… Continue reading What’s your ROOTS man???