Indigenous people of east malaysia


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Indigenous people of east malaysia

  1. 1. Indigenous People of East Malaysia Dr. Mark McGinley Honors College and Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University
  2. 2. Dayaks • Dayak refers to the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. • It is a loose term for over 200 riverine and hilldwelling ethnic subgroups each with its own dialect, customs, laws, territory and culture, although common distinguishing traits are readily identifiable. • Dayak languages are categorized as part of the Austronesian languages in Asia.
  3. 3. Sarawak • Sarawak has a population of almost 2.5 million, made up of some 26 different ethnic groups. • The non-Muslim indigenous groups are collectively called Dayaks – most of whom are Christians or practice animist beliefs – they account for about 40 per cent of Sarawak’s inhabitants. – The two biggest ethnic groups within the Dayak community are the Iban (also known as Sea Dayaks), who constitute just over 31 per cent of the population, and the Bidayuh; others include the Kenyah, Kayan, Kedayan, Murut, Punan, Bisayah, Kelabit, Berawan and Penan. • Dayaks who live in the interior of Sarawak are sometimes referred to as Orang Ulu, or people from the interior. – Members of this group typically live in longhouses and practice shifting cultivation; they engage in fishing to supplement their diet if they live near a river. • Only a few hundred of the Eastern Penan continue to live as a nomadic people of the rainforest.
  4. 4. Sabah • Most of Sabah’s more than 3 million people can be considered as minorities within the context of the whole country, since they are for the most part nonMalay and are either indigenous (more than 60%), Chinese (about 20%) or from ethnic groups originating from southern Philippines, Indonesia or other parts of Malaysia. • Some of the largest minorities are the Kadazan-Dusun (about 25%), Bajau (15%), and Murut (3%). – These are in fact broad categories, with for example 13 main languages spoken within the Kadazan-Dusun grouping.
  5. 5. Head Hunting Tradition • In the past, the Dayak were feared for their ancient tradition of headhunting practices. Among the Iban Dayaks, the origin of headhunting was believed to be meeting one of the mourning rules given by a spirit which is as follows: – The sacred jar is not to be opened except by a warrior who has managed to obtain a head, or by a man who can present a human head, which he obtained in a fight; or by a man who has returned from a sojourn in enemy country.
  6. 6. Head Hunting Tradition • The war regulations among the Iban Dayaks are listed below: – If a warleader leads a party on an expedition, he must not allow his warriors to fight a guiltless tribe that has no quarrel with them. – If the enemy surrenders, he may not take their lives, lest his army be unsuccessful in future warfare and risk fighting emptyhanded war raids (balang kayau). – The first time that a warrior takes a head or captures a prisoner, he must present the head or captive to the warleader in acknowledgement of the latter’s leadership. – If a warrior takes two heads or captives, or more, one of each must be given to the warleader; the remainder belongs to the killer or captor. – The warleader must be honest with his followers in order that in future wars he may not be defeated (alah bunoh).
  7. 7. Head Hunting
  8. 8. Head Hunting
  9. 9. Head Hunting Tradition • There were various reasons for headhunting as listed below: – For soil fertility so Dayaks hunted fresh heads before paddy harvesting seasons after which head festival would be held in honor of the new heads. – To add supernatural strength which Dayaks believed to be centred in the soul and head of humans. Fresh heads can give magical powers for communal protection, bountiful paddy harvesting and disease curing. – To avenge revenge for murders based on "blood credit" principle unless "adat pati nyawa" (customary compensation token) is paid. – To pay dowry for marriages e.g. "derian palit mata" (eye blocking dowry) for Ibans once blood has been splashed prior to agreeing to marriage and of course, new fresh heads show prowess, bravery, ability and capability to protect his family, community and land – For foundation of new buildings to be stronger and meaningful than the normal practice of not putting in human heads. – As a symbol of power and social status ranking where the more heads someone has, the respect and glory due to him. The warleader is called tuai serang (warleader) or raja berani (king of the brave) while kayau anak (small raid) leader is only called tuai kayau (raid leader) whereby adat tebalu (widower rule) after their death would be paid according to their ranking status in the community.
  10. 10. End of the Tradition • Reasons for abandoning headhunting are: – Peacemaking agreements at Tumbang Anoi, Kalimantan in 1894 and Kapit, Sarawak in 1924. – Coming of Christianity, with education where Dayaks are taught that headhunting is murder and against the Christian Bible's teachings. – Dayaks' own realization that headhunting was more to lose than to gain. – After mass conversions to Christianity and Islam, and anti-headhunting legislation by the colonial powers was passed, the practice was banned and appeared to have disappeared. • However, the headhunting began to surface again in the mid-1940s, when the Allied Powers encouraged the practice against the Japanese. • It also slightly surged in the late 1960s when the Indonesian government encouraged Dayaks to purge Chinese from interior Kalimantan who were suspected of supporting communism in mainland China.
  11. 11. Ibans • The Ibans are a branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo. In Malaysia, most Ibans are located in Sarawak, a small portion in Sabah and some in west Malaysia.
  12. 12. Religion • The Ibans were traditionally animist, although the majority are now Christian, many continue to observe both Christian and traditional ceremonies, particularly during marriages or festivals. – The majority of Iban people have changed their traditional name to a "Christian name".
  13. 13. Religion Religion Percent Christian 76 Animist 14 Islam 1.5 Others, none, unknown 6
  14. 14. Traditional Dress
  15. 15. Iban Lifestyle • Lifestyle centers on cultivation of rice. Other than rice, also planted in the farm are vegetables like ensabi, pumpkin, round brinjal, cucumber, corn, lingkau and other food sources lik tapioca, sugarcane, sweet potatoes. • After the paddy has been harvested, cotton is planted which takes about two months to complete its cycle. – The cotton is used for weaving before commercial cotton is traded. Fresh lands cleared by each Dayak family will belong to that family and the longhouse community can also use the land with permission from the owning family.
  16. 16. Iban Lifestyle • Usually, in one riverine system, a special track of land is reserved for the use by the community itself to get natural supplies of wood, rattan and other wild plants which are necessary for building houses, boats, coffins and other living purposes, and also to leave living space for wild animals which is a source of meat. – Any wild meat obtained will distribute according to a certain customary law.
  17. 17. Menyang Tais Longhouse
  18. 18. Menyang Tais
  19. 19. Cooking
  20. 20. Food
  21. 21. Dinner Time
  22. 22. Party Time
  23. 23. Headman’s Home
  24. 24. Interesting Things
  25. 25. Rainforest!!!
  26. 26. Garden
  27. 27. Fighting Cocks
  28. 28. Rice Farm
  29. 29. Family
  30. 30. Trip to Nanga Sumpa Longhouse
  31. 31. Boarding School and Clinic
  32. 32. Nanga Sumpa Longhouse
  33. 33. Nanga Sumpa
  34. 34. Tapping Rubber
  35. 35. Rubber
  36. 36. Nearby the Longhouse
  37. 37. Fishing
  38. 38. Some of the Catch
  39. 39. Picnic at Waterfall
  40. 40. Collecting Rubber Mat and Shampoo Time
  41. 41. Kadazans • The Kadazans are an ethnic group indigenous to the state of Sabah in Malaysia. • Due to similarities in culture and language with the Dusun ethnic group, and also because of other political initiatives, a new unified term called "Kadazan-dusun" was created. Collectively, they form the largest ethnic group in Sabah.
  42. 42. Houses • Originally the Kadazan lived in large kinship groups in longhouses containing 150–200 persons. • Most now live in individual dwellings that accommodate smaller family units.
  43. 43. Agriculture • In rural areas, irrigated wet rice is the principal crop, supplemented by dry rice, corn (maize), and sweet potatoes, all cultivated through slash-andburn agriculture.
  44. 44. Kadazans • The western Kadazan form much of the labour force in local rubber production. • Most Kadazan are Christian, although there also is a significant Muslim community. • Small groups maintain local religions in which priestesses conduct a variety of agricultural and communal rituals.
  45. 45. Kadazan Dress
  46. 46. Bidayuh • Bidayuh is the collective name for several indigenous groups found in southern Sarawak and northern West Kalimantan • The name "Bidayuh" means 'inhabitants of land'. • They are the second largest Dayak ethnic group in Sarawak after the Iban and one of the major Dayak tribes in West Kalimantan
  47. 47. Bidayuh • The area in which they live is mainly in the basin of the Sarawak River and hilly to mountainous forest, traditionally worked by rotational agriculture and hunting based around farms populated from parent villages situated on the hills for protection. • Today, almost all the traditional Longhouse-villages have been replaced by individual houses, by roads and there is some plantation agriculture and a reduced emphasis on the growing of hill-padi. • Fruit trees, especially Durian, remain important property markers.
  48. 48. Housing • The distinctive architectural and cultural feature of the Bidayuh is the head-house, now adopted as a symbol.
  49. 49. Bidayuh Dress
  50. 50. Penan • The Penan are a nomadic aboriginal people living in Sarawak and Brunei, although there is only one small community in Brunei. • Penan are one of the last such peoples remaining as hunters and gatherers. Most Penan were nomadic hunter-gatherers until the post-World War II missionaries settled many of the Penan. • They eat plants, which are also used as medicines, and animals and use the hides, skin, fur, and other parts for clothing and shelter.
  51. 51. Penan • Penan communities were predominantly nomadic up until the 1950s. The period from 1950– present has seen consistent programs by the state government and foreign Christian missionaries to settle Penan into longhouse-based villages similar to those of Sarawak's other indigenous groups. • The Penan number around 16,000; of which only approximately 200 still live a nomadic lifestyle. • Penan numbers have increased since they began to settle.
  52. 52. Penan • Some, typically the younger generations, now cultivate rice and garden vegetables but many rely on their diets of sago (starch from the sago palm), jungle fruits and their prey which usually include wild boar, barking deer, mouse deer but also snakes, monkeys, birds, frogs, monitor lizards, snails and even insects such as locusts. • Since they practice 'molong', they pose little strain on the forest: they rely on it and it supplies them with all they need. • Everything that is caught is shared as the Penan have a highly tolerant, generous and egalitarian society – it is said that the nomadic Penan have no word for 'thank you' because help is assumed and therefore doesn't require a 'thank you'.
  53. 53. Penan • The nomadic Penan have been greatly affected by large-scale selective logging, in the late 1970s. • More recently the creation of palm oil and acacia wood plantations has caused concern. • Since the 1980s various Penan groups, both settled and nomadic, have campaigned against the logging - erecting blockades and sometimes being arrested.