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

Iban folktales: How the Iban learnt to plant rice Part 1

A long time ago, in the deep jungles of Borneo, lived a fierce tribe called the Ibans. They were hunter gatherers, living off the bountiful fruits of the jungle. Wild tapioca and yam, fruits as well as wild animals were part of their daily meals. In a longhouse with three hundred families, there was a… Continue reading Iban folktales: How the Iban learnt to plant rice Part 1

The Female Iban Attire (Ngepan Indu Iban)

The Iban ngepan (or traditional attire) is generally worn for special occasions (Gawai), ceremonies, rituals and dances. The Iban comprises about 30% of Sarawak’s population, with varying differences in terms of dialect, tradition and ngepan. Most famous of the use and promotion of the ngepan in current times is for the Kumang Gawai. Kumang is… Continue reading The Female Iban Attire (Ngepan Indu Iban)