Of Gawai and Gawea

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

The Kenyah Peselai, and the aftermath of Konfrontasi

A Kenyah peselai group, 1930, with Dutch photographer HF Tillema Peselai, an ancient ritual of the Kenyahs of Borneo, is a coming of age journey undertaken by men to discover new lands, wealth and trading. It is the equivalent of the Iban’s bejalai. … peselai is a rite of passage with deep roots to the… Continue reading The Kenyah Peselai, and the aftermath of Konfrontasi

The Bisaya’ of Borneo

The Bisaya’ are one of the minor ethnic groups in Borneo, currently located within the vicinity of Limbang District (Northern Sarawak), Beaufort (Sabah) and Brunei. They are also known as Bekiau, Bisaya Bukit, Bisayah, Lorang Bukit and Visayak. They are similiar to the Tutong and Belait ethnic groups of Borneo. The Bisaya’ community used to… Continue reading The Bisaya’ of Borneo

The Bidayuh of Serian: Sambat group

One of the 15 subgroups under the Bukar-Sadong Bidayuh of Serian, Samarahan is the Sambat group. The Sambats are one of the smaller groups among the Bidayuh. Like the rest, they came from Tembawang Tampun, and passed through Tembawang Rutoi (the main original Bidayuh settlement for all Bidayuh Bukar-Sadong between the border of Sarawak-Kalimantan), settling… Continue reading The Bidayuh of Serian: Sambat group