Indigenous Tribes of Borneo• The Dayak are the native people of Borneo. It is a loose term for over 200 riverine and hill-dwelling ethnic subgroups, located principally in the interior of Borneo, each with its own dialect, customs, laws, territory and culture, although common distinguishing traits are readily identifiable.• The Dayak were animist in belief; however many converted to Christianity, and some embraced Islam more recently• Estimates for the Dayak population range from 2 to 4 million.• Wikipedia- Dayaks
Main Dayak Groups• The Iban; the Bidayuh (sometimes known as Sea Dayak); the Kayan-Kenyah group; the Maloh; the Barito; the Kelabit-Lun Bawang group; and the Dusun-Kadazan-Murut.• The Penan are a group of hunter-gatherers that live in the rainforests of Borneo. – probably less than 10,000 Penan. – In 1990s less than 4 percent of these are still entirely nomadic • highly dependent of sago palm and wild boar for subsistence.
Headhunting • Headhunting was an important part of Dayak culture, in particular to the Iban and Kenyah. • There used to be a tradition of retaliation for old headhunts, which kept the practice alive. • British and Dutch curtailed and limited this tradition • , the practice of headhunting was then limited to individual retaliation attacks or the result of chance encounters
Political Status• The Dayak tribes were explicitly given Bumiputra status when Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia – Because Dayaks make up a much larger proportion of the population of Sabah and Sarawak than the Oran Asli in the peninsula, the Dayaks in Borneo have a bit more political power.