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TOPIC: IBAN ETHNIC OF SARAWAK
NAME: MOHAMED ABDI MOHAMED
ID: 09111500008
INTAKE: JULY
SUBJECT: MULTI-CULTURAL
LECTURER: MS. HUMAIRA BINT ISMAIL
IBAN PEOPLE
In Sarawak, the dominant tribal groups are the Dayak. Tribal people live in longhouses.
There are the Iban (Sea Dayak), and the Bidayuh (Land Dayak). All of Malaysia’s tribal
people feel a strong spiritual connection to the rainforest. The Iban grow rice and fruit,
and hunt and fish. The Ibans form the largest percentage of Sarawak's population, making
up some 30% (400,000 people). Reputed to be the most formidable headhunters on the
island of Borneo, the Ibans of today are a generous, hospitable and placid people.
Because of their history as pirates and fishermen, they were conventionally referred to as
the "Sea Dayaks".
The Iban is a friendly and hospitable tribe. The majority of Sarawak Ibans, especially in
the lowlands, are living mostly in longhouses along the main rivers and their tributaries.
They are Christians, but they still maintain their strong cultural identity and heritage.
The Ibans are also famous for their tuak, a sweet rice wine, which is served during big
celebrations and festive occasions.
It is believed that the term "Iban" originates from the Iban's own formidable enemy, the
Kayan who call the Sea Dayaks in the upper Rajang river region that initially came into
contact with them as "Hivan". The Kayan mostly lives in the central Broneo region and
migrated into the upper Rajang River and thus went logger-head with those Ibans who
migrated from the upper Batang Ai/Lupar region and Katibas River. In fact, those Sea
Dayaks in the Saribas and Skrang regions initially resisted being called Iban and insisted
to be called Dayak but somehow the term Iban increasingly becomes popular later on
after the European starts to frequently use this term.
Ibans were renowned for practicing headhunting and tribal/territorial expansion, and had
a fearsome reputation as a strong and successful warring tribe in the past. Since the
arrival of Europeans and the subsequent colonization of the area, headhunting gradually
faded out of practice although many tribal customs, practices and language continue. The
Iban population is concentrated in Sarawak, Brunei, and in the West Kalimantan region
of Indonesia. They live in longhouses called rumah panjai
Nowadays, most of the Iban longhouses are equipped with modern facilities such as
electricity and water supply and other facilities such as (tar sealed) roads, telephone lines
and the internet. Younger Ibans are mostly found in urban areas and visit their hometowns
during the holidays. The Ibans today are becoming increasingly urbanized while retaining
most of their traditional heritage and culture.
Ibanic Subgroup and Language
Although Ibans generally speak a dialect which is mutually intelligible, they can be divided
into different branches which are named after the geographical areas where they reside.
Majority of Ibans who live around the Lundu and Samarahan region are called Sebuyaus.
Ibans who settled in areas in Serian district (places like Kampung Lebor, Kampung Tanah
Mawang & others) are called Remuns. They may be the earliest Iban group to migrate to
Sarawak.
Ibans who originated from Sri Aman area are called Balaus.
Ibans who come from Betong, Saratok & parts of Sarikei are called Saribas.
The original iban Lubok Antu Ibans are classed by anthropologists as Ulu Ai/batang ai
Ibans.
Ibans from Undup are called Undup Ibans. Their dialect is somewhat a cross between the
Ulu Ai dialect & the Balau dialect.
Ibans living in areas from Sarikei to Miri are called Rajang Ibans. This group is also known
as "Bilak Sedik Iban". They are the majority group of the Iban people. They can be found
along the Rajang River, Sibu, Kapit, Belaga, Kanowit, Song, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu
and Miri. Their dialect is somewhat similar to the Ulu Ai or lubok antu dialect.
In West Kalimantan (Indonesia), Iban people are even more diverse. The Kantu, Air
Tabun, Semberuang, Sebaru', Bugau, Mualang & along with many other groups are
classed as "Ibanic people" by anthropologists. They can be related to the Iban either by
the dialect they speak or their customs, rituals & their way of life.
Religion, Culture and Festivals
The Ibans ancestors since hundred years ago were traditionally animist/pagan, since the
occupation by British explorer James Brooke, many has been influenced and converted
to Christian by European missionary. Although the majority are now Christian; many
continue to observe both Christian and traditional ceremonies, particularly during
marriages or festivals, some of the ancestors practice such as 'Miring' are still prohibited
by certain churches. After being Christianized, the majority of Iban people have changed
their traditional name to a Hebrew-based "Christian name" such as David, Christopher,
Janet, Magdalene, Peter or Joseph but a minority still maintain their traditional Iban name
or a combination of both with the first Christian name followed by a second traditional
Iban name such as David Kanang, Christopher Changgai, Janet Lenna or Joseph Jeling.
The longhouse of Iban Dayaks are constructed in such a way to act as an accommodation
and a religious place of worship. The first thing to be erected during the longhouse
building is the tiang pemun (the main post) from which the pun ramu (the bottom of any
tree trunks) is determined and followed along the longhouse construction. Any
subsequent rituals will refer to the tiang pemun and pun ramu.
Iban Religion and Pantheon
The Iban religion involves worshiping and honoring at least four categories of beings i.e.
the supreme god called Petara and his seven deities, the holy spirits of Orang Panggau
Libau and Gelong, the ghost spirits (Bunsu Antu) and the souls of dead ancestors. Some
Iban categorizes these gods into beings from the sky (ari langit) which refers to goods
living in the sky, from the tree tops (ari pucuk kayu) which refers to omen birds, ari tanah
(from the land/soil) which refers to augury snakes and animals, and ari ai (from the water
which refers to fishes.
The supreme God is called Bunsu (Kree) Petara, sometimes called as Raja Entala or
even Tuhan Allah Taala (Arabic defines the article al- "the" and ilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh
meaning "the [sole] deity, God") in modern times. The Iban calls this supreme god whos
creates the universe by the three names of Seragindi which makes the water (ngaga ai),
Seragindah which makes the land (ngaga tanah0 and Seragindit which makes the skt
(ngaga langit).
There are seven main petaras (deities or gods or regents) of Iban Dayaks who act as the
messengers between human beings and God. These deities are the children of Raja
Jembu and the grandchildren of Raja Burong. Their names are as follows:
 Sengalang Burong as the god of war for protection and sustenance
 Biku Bunsu Petara (female) as the high priest
 Sempulang Gana as the god of agriculture along with his father-in-law
 Semarugah as the god of land
 Selempandai/Selempeta/Selempetoh as the god of creation and and procreation
 Menjaya Manang as the god of health and shamanism being the first manang bali
 Anda Mara as the god of wealth
 Ini Andan/Inee (female) as the natural-born doctor and the god of justice
In addition to these gods, there are mystical people namely the orang Panggau
Libau and "Gelong" with the most notable ones being Keling and Laja, and
Kumang and Lulong who often help the Iban Dayaks to be successful in life and
adventures.
Traditional festivals
Significant traditional festivals to propitiate the above-mentioned gods can be grouped
into seven categories which are related to the main activities among the Iban Dayaks i.e.
the Farming-related festivals to propitiate the deity of agriculture Sempulang Gana, the
War-related festivals to honour the deity of war Sengalang Burong, weaving-related
festival (Gawai Ngar) for patrons of weaving, the Fortune-related festivals dedicated to
the deity of fortune Anda Mara, procreation-related festival (Gawai Melah Pinang) for the
deity of creation Selampandai, the health-related festivals for the deity of shamanism
Menjaya and Ini Andan and the death-related festival (Gawai Antu or Ngelumbong) to
invite the dead souls for final separation ritual between the living and the dead.
Because rice farming is the key life-sustaining activity among Dayaks, the first category
of festivals is related to agriculture. Thus, there are many ritual festivals dedicated to this
foremost vital activity namely:
1) Gawai Batu (Whetstone Festival),
2) Gawai Benih (Seed Festival),
3) Gawai Ngalihka Tanah (Soil Ploughing Festival),
4) Gawai Ngemali Umai (Farm-healing Festival),
5) Gawai Matah (Harvest-starting Festival)
6) Gawai Ngambi Sempeli and
7) Gawai Basimpan (Rice-Keeping) Festival.
There is one important rite called mudas for strengthening any omen encountered during
farming activity. Several of these festivals have been relegated to a simpler or
intermediate ceremonies which mainly involves nimang (inchantation) only and thus no
longer prefixed with the gawai word i.e. nimang benih in case of Gawai Benih, ngalihka
tanah, ngemali umai by a dukun (healer) for minor or intermediate damage of paddy farm
instead of a full-scale Gawai Ngemali Umai, matah and ngambi sempeli.
The rice planting stages start from manggol (ritual initial clearing to seek good omen using
a birdstick (tambak burong), nebas (clearing undergrowth), nebang (felling trees),
ngerangkaika reban (drying out trees), nunu (burning), ngebak and nugal (clearing
unburnt trees and dibbling), mantun (weeding), ninjau belayan (Surveying the paddy
growth), ngitang tali buru (Hanging the protective rope), nekok/matah (First harvesting),
ngetau (harvesting), nungku (separating rice grains), basimpan (rice keeping) and nanam
taya ba jerami/nempalai kasai (cotton planting).
With the coming of rubber and pepper planting, the Ibans have adapted the Gawai
Ngemali Umai (Paddy Farm Healing Festival) and Gawai Batu (Whetstone Festival) to
hold Gawai Getah (Rubber Festival) to sharpen the tapping knives and Gawai Lada
(Pepper Festival) to avoid diseases and pests associated with pepper planting
respectively.
The next most activity among Iban in the past is headhunting (ngayau) to the enemy
country. Hence, the war-related festivals collectively called Gawai Burong (Bird Festival)
in the Saribas/Skrang region or Gawai Amat (Proper Festival) in the Mujong region or
Gawai Asal (Original Festival) in the Baleh region is held in honour of the war god,
Sengalang Burong (Hawk the Bird) which is manifested as the brahminy kite. This festival
has some successive stages and is initiated by a notable man of prowess from time to
time and hosted by individual longhouses. It originally honours warriors but during more
peaceful times evolves into a healing or fortune seeking ceremony.
Iban miring or ritual offerings
The Iban leka piring which is the number of each offering item is basically according to
the single odd numbers which are piring turun 3, 5, 7 and 9. Leka piring (Number of each
offering item) and agih piring (set of offerings) is dedicated to each part of the long house
bilek such as bilek four corners, tanju (verandah), ruai (gallery, dapur (kitchen), benda
beras (rice jar), etc. as deemed fit and necessary.
The rule on how to choose the leka piring according to its purpose is as follows:
Leka piring 3 – piring ampun/seluwak (for apologies or economy)
Leka piring 5 – piring minta/ngiring bejalai (for requests or journey)
Leka piring 7 – piring gawai/bujang berani (for festivals or brave men)
Leka piring 8 – piring nyangkong (for including others)
Leka piring 9 – piring nyangkong/turu (for including others and any leftover offering items
are placed together)
Leka lebih ari 9 (10, 11, 12, to 18) – piring turu (leftover offering items must be all offered
and cannot be eaten)
The basic items for the piring offerings include at least the following items: betel nuts, sirih
leaves, sedi leaves and kapu chalk, cigar leaves and tobacco, "penganan" (disc-shaped
cake made from glutinous rice flour which is deep-fried in cooking oil), senupat (sacheted
glutinous rice), sungkoi (wrapped glutinous rice), asi pulut pansoh (glutinous rice cooked
in bamboo container), tumpi (flattened glutinous rice flour cake), asi manis (semi-
fermented glutinous rice), hard-boiled chicken eggs, cuwan (flowery-shaped molded
biscuit made from glutinous rice flour) and sarang semut (ant nest biscuit made of
glutinous rice), rendai or letup (pop glutinous paddy) and tuak (alcoholic drink fermented
from glutinous rice with yeast). All these ingredients are put onto plates or woven baskets
made of bamboo or rattan.
The genselan (animal offering) is normally made in the form of a chicken or a pig
depending on the scale of the ceremony. For small ceremonies e.g. bird omens, chickens
will be used while bigger occasions such as animal omens, pigs will be sacrificed. The
chicken feathers are pulled and smeared into the blood of the chicken whose throat has
been slit and the chicken head may be put onto the main offering plate. For festivals, one
or several pigs and tens of chickens may be sacrificed to appease the deities invoked
and to serve human guests invited to the festivals within the territorial domain of the feast
chief.
Traditional costumes
The ngajat dancers will usually wear their traditional costumes.
The male costume consists of the following: - Sirat (loincloth) - baju burong (bird shirt) -
baju buri (bead shirt) - baju gagong (animal skin cloth) - Engkerimok - Unus Lebus -
Simpai Rangki - Tumpa Bala (five on both sides) - Labong Pakau or lelanjang (headgear)
The female costume include, Kain Batating (Petticoat with decorated bells at the bottom
end) - Rawai Tinggi (High Corset with Rattan Coils inserted with small Brass Rings) -
Sugu Tinggi (High headgear) - Marik Empang (Beaded Chain) - Selampai (Long Scalp) -
Lampit (Silver Belt) - Tumpak (Armlet) - Gelang kaki (Anklet) - Antin pirak (Silver stud
earrings) - Buah pauh purse
The Iban agriculture and economy
The Ibans plant paddy once a year with twenty seven stages. Other crops planted include
ensabi, cucumber (rampu amat and rampu betu), brinjal, corn, lingkau and cotton before
commercial threads are sold in the market.
For cash, the Ibans find jungle produce for sale in the market. Later, they plant rubber,
pepper and cocoa which prevail to this day. Nowadays, many Ibans work in the town
areas to seek employment or involve in trade or business.
Note: Both marik empang and selampai are not originally belong to the Iban traditional
costume but added to cover the chest of Iban ladies. There are variations of the Iban
female costume as per the reference
Food

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The Iban ethnic group of Sarawak

  • 1. TOPIC: IBAN ETHNIC OF SARAWAK NAME: MOHAMED ABDI MOHAMED ID: 09111500008 INTAKE: JULY SUBJECT: MULTI-CULTURAL LECTURER: MS. HUMAIRA BINT ISMAIL
  • 2. IBAN PEOPLE In Sarawak, the dominant tribal groups are the Dayak. Tribal people live in longhouses. There are the Iban (Sea Dayak), and the Bidayuh (Land Dayak). All of Malaysia’s tribal people feel a strong spiritual connection to the rainforest. The Iban grow rice and fruit, and hunt and fish. The Ibans form the largest percentage of Sarawak's population, making up some 30% (400,000 people). Reputed to be the most formidable headhunters on the island of Borneo, the Ibans of today are a generous, hospitable and placid people. Because of their history as pirates and fishermen, they were conventionally referred to as the "Sea Dayaks". The Iban is a friendly and hospitable tribe. The majority of Sarawak Ibans, especially in the lowlands, are living mostly in longhouses along the main rivers and their tributaries. They are Christians, but they still maintain their strong cultural identity and heritage. The Ibans are also famous for their tuak, a sweet rice wine, which is served during big celebrations and festive occasions. It is believed that the term "Iban" originates from the Iban's own formidable enemy, the Kayan who call the Sea Dayaks in the upper Rajang river region that initially came into contact with them as "Hivan". The Kayan mostly lives in the central Broneo region and migrated into the upper Rajang River and thus went logger-head with those Ibans who migrated from the upper Batang Ai/Lupar region and Katibas River. In fact, those Sea Dayaks in the Saribas and Skrang regions initially resisted being called Iban and insisted to be called Dayak but somehow the term Iban increasingly becomes popular later on after the European starts to frequently use this term.
  • 3. Ibans were renowned for practicing headhunting and tribal/territorial expansion, and had a fearsome reputation as a strong and successful warring tribe in the past. Since the arrival of Europeans and the subsequent colonization of the area, headhunting gradually faded out of practice although many tribal customs, practices and language continue. The Iban population is concentrated in Sarawak, Brunei, and in the West Kalimantan region of Indonesia. They live in longhouses called rumah panjai Nowadays, most of the Iban longhouses are equipped with modern facilities such as electricity and water supply and other facilities such as (tar sealed) roads, telephone lines and the internet. Younger Ibans are mostly found in urban areas and visit their hometowns during the holidays. The Ibans today are becoming increasingly urbanized while retaining most of their traditional heritage and culture. Ibanic Subgroup and Language Although Ibans generally speak a dialect which is mutually intelligible, they can be divided into different branches which are named after the geographical areas where they reside. Majority of Ibans who live around the Lundu and Samarahan region are called Sebuyaus. Ibans who settled in areas in Serian district (places like Kampung Lebor, Kampung Tanah Mawang & others) are called Remuns. They may be the earliest Iban group to migrate to Sarawak. Ibans who originated from Sri Aman area are called Balaus. Ibans who come from Betong, Saratok & parts of Sarikei are called Saribas. The original iban Lubok Antu Ibans are classed by anthropologists as Ulu Ai/batang ai Ibans.
  • 4. Ibans from Undup are called Undup Ibans. Their dialect is somewhat a cross between the Ulu Ai dialect & the Balau dialect. Ibans living in areas from Sarikei to Miri are called Rajang Ibans. This group is also known as "Bilak Sedik Iban". They are the majority group of the Iban people. They can be found along the Rajang River, Sibu, Kapit, Belaga, Kanowit, Song, Sarikei, Bintangor, Bintulu and Miri. Their dialect is somewhat similar to the Ulu Ai or lubok antu dialect. In West Kalimantan (Indonesia), Iban people are even more diverse. The Kantu, Air Tabun, Semberuang, Sebaru', Bugau, Mualang & along with many other groups are classed as "Ibanic people" by anthropologists. They can be related to the Iban either by the dialect they speak or their customs, rituals & their way of life. Religion, Culture and Festivals The Ibans ancestors since hundred years ago were traditionally animist/pagan, since the occupation by British explorer James Brooke, many has been influenced and converted to Christian by European missionary. Although the majority are now Christian; many continue to observe both Christian and traditional ceremonies, particularly during marriages or festivals, some of the ancestors practice such as 'Miring' are still prohibited by certain churches. After being Christianized, the majority of Iban people have changed their traditional name to a Hebrew-based "Christian name" such as David, Christopher, Janet, Magdalene, Peter or Joseph but a minority still maintain their traditional Iban name or a combination of both with the first Christian name followed by a second traditional Iban name such as David Kanang, Christopher Changgai, Janet Lenna or Joseph Jeling. The longhouse of Iban Dayaks are constructed in such a way to act as an accommodation and a religious place of worship. The first thing to be erected during the longhouse
  • 5. building is the tiang pemun (the main post) from which the pun ramu (the bottom of any tree trunks) is determined and followed along the longhouse construction. Any subsequent rituals will refer to the tiang pemun and pun ramu. Iban Religion and Pantheon The Iban religion involves worshiping and honoring at least four categories of beings i.e. the supreme god called Petara and his seven deities, the holy spirits of Orang Panggau Libau and Gelong, the ghost spirits (Bunsu Antu) and the souls of dead ancestors. Some Iban categorizes these gods into beings from the sky (ari langit) which refers to goods living in the sky, from the tree tops (ari pucuk kayu) which refers to omen birds, ari tanah (from the land/soil) which refers to augury snakes and animals, and ari ai (from the water which refers to fishes. The supreme God is called Bunsu (Kree) Petara, sometimes called as Raja Entala or even Tuhan Allah Taala (Arabic defines the article al- "the" and ilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the [sole] deity, God") in modern times. The Iban calls this supreme god whos creates the universe by the three names of Seragindi which makes the water (ngaga ai), Seragindah which makes the land (ngaga tanah0 and Seragindit which makes the skt (ngaga langit). There are seven main petaras (deities or gods or regents) of Iban Dayaks who act as the messengers between human beings and God. These deities are the children of Raja Jembu and the grandchildren of Raja Burong. Their names are as follows:
  • 6.  Sengalang Burong as the god of war for protection and sustenance  Biku Bunsu Petara (female) as the high priest  Sempulang Gana as the god of agriculture along with his father-in-law  Semarugah as the god of land  Selempandai/Selempeta/Selempetoh as the god of creation and and procreation  Menjaya Manang as the god of health and shamanism being the first manang bali  Anda Mara as the god of wealth  Ini Andan/Inee (female) as the natural-born doctor and the god of justice In addition to these gods, there are mystical people namely the orang Panggau Libau and "Gelong" with the most notable ones being Keling and Laja, and Kumang and Lulong who often help the Iban Dayaks to be successful in life and adventures. Traditional festivals Significant traditional festivals to propitiate the above-mentioned gods can be grouped into seven categories which are related to the main activities among the Iban Dayaks i.e. the Farming-related festivals to propitiate the deity of agriculture Sempulang Gana, the War-related festivals to honour the deity of war Sengalang Burong, weaving-related festival (Gawai Ngar) for patrons of weaving, the Fortune-related festivals dedicated to the deity of fortune Anda Mara, procreation-related festival (Gawai Melah Pinang) for the deity of creation Selampandai, the health-related festivals for the deity of shamanism Menjaya and Ini Andan and the death-related festival (Gawai Antu or Ngelumbong) to invite the dead souls for final separation ritual between the living and the dead.
  • 7. Because rice farming is the key life-sustaining activity among Dayaks, the first category of festivals is related to agriculture. Thus, there are many ritual festivals dedicated to this foremost vital activity namely: 1) Gawai Batu (Whetstone Festival), 2) Gawai Benih (Seed Festival), 3) Gawai Ngalihka Tanah (Soil Ploughing Festival), 4) Gawai Ngemali Umai (Farm-healing Festival), 5) Gawai Matah (Harvest-starting Festival) 6) Gawai Ngambi Sempeli and 7) Gawai Basimpan (Rice-Keeping) Festival. There is one important rite called mudas for strengthening any omen encountered during farming activity. Several of these festivals have been relegated to a simpler or intermediate ceremonies which mainly involves nimang (inchantation) only and thus no longer prefixed with the gawai word i.e. nimang benih in case of Gawai Benih, ngalihka tanah, ngemali umai by a dukun (healer) for minor or intermediate damage of paddy farm instead of a full-scale Gawai Ngemali Umai, matah and ngambi sempeli. The rice planting stages start from manggol (ritual initial clearing to seek good omen using a birdstick (tambak burong), nebas (clearing undergrowth), nebang (felling trees), ngerangkaika reban (drying out trees), nunu (burning), ngebak and nugal (clearing unburnt trees and dibbling), mantun (weeding), ninjau belayan (Surveying the paddy growth), ngitang tali buru (Hanging the protective rope), nekok/matah (First harvesting),
  • 8. ngetau (harvesting), nungku (separating rice grains), basimpan (rice keeping) and nanam taya ba jerami/nempalai kasai (cotton planting). With the coming of rubber and pepper planting, the Ibans have adapted the Gawai Ngemali Umai (Paddy Farm Healing Festival) and Gawai Batu (Whetstone Festival) to hold Gawai Getah (Rubber Festival) to sharpen the tapping knives and Gawai Lada (Pepper Festival) to avoid diseases and pests associated with pepper planting respectively. The next most activity among Iban in the past is headhunting (ngayau) to the enemy country. Hence, the war-related festivals collectively called Gawai Burong (Bird Festival) in the Saribas/Skrang region or Gawai Amat (Proper Festival) in the Mujong region or Gawai Asal (Original Festival) in the Baleh region is held in honour of the war god, Sengalang Burong (Hawk the Bird) which is manifested as the brahminy kite. This festival has some successive stages and is initiated by a notable man of prowess from time to time and hosted by individual longhouses. It originally honours warriors but during more peaceful times evolves into a healing or fortune seeking ceremony. Iban miring or ritual offerings The Iban leka piring which is the number of each offering item is basically according to the single odd numbers which are piring turun 3, 5, 7 and 9. Leka piring (Number of each offering item) and agih piring (set of offerings) is dedicated to each part of the long house bilek such as bilek four corners, tanju (verandah), ruai (gallery, dapur (kitchen), benda beras (rice jar), etc. as deemed fit and necessary. The rule on how to choose the leka piring according to its purpose is as follows: Leka piring 3 – piring ampun/seluwak (for apologies or economy)
  • 9. Leka piring 5 – piring minta/ngiring bejalai (for requests or journey) Leka piring 7 – piring gawai/bujang berani (for festivals or brave men) Leka piring 8 – piring nyangkong (for including others) Leka piring 9 – piring nyangkong/turu (for including others and any leftover offering items are placed together) Leka lebih ari 9 (10, 11, 12, to 18) – piring turu (leftover offering items must be all offered and cannot be eaten) The basic items for the piring offerings include at least the following items: betel nuts, sirih leaves, sedi leaves and kapu chalk, cigar leaves and tobacco, "penganan" (disc-shaped cake made from glutinous rice flour which is deep-fried in cooking oil), senupat (sacheted glutinous rice), sungkoi (wrapped glutinous rice), asi pulut pansoh (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo container), tumpi (flattened glutinous rice flour cake), asi manis (semi- fermented glutinous rice), hard-boiled chicken eggs, cuwan (flowery-shaped molded biscuit made from glutinous rice flour) and sarang semut (ant nest biscuit made of glutinous rice), rendai or letup (pop glutinous paddy) and tuak (alcoholic drink fermented from glutinous rice with yeast). All these ingredients are put onto plates or woven baskets made of bamboo or rattan. The genselan (animal offering) is normally made in the form of a chicken or a pig depending on the scale of the ceremony. For small ceremonies e.g. bird omens, chickens will be used while bigger occasions such as animal omens, pigs will be sacrificed. The chicken feathers are pulled and smeared into the blood of the chicken whose throat has been slit and the chicken head may be put onto the main offering plate. For festivals, one or several pigs and tens of chickens may be sacrificed to appease the deities invoked and to serve human guests invited to the festivals within the territorial domain of the feast chief.
  • 10. Traditional costumes The ngajat dancers will usually wear their traditional costumes. The male costume consists of the following: - Sirat (loincloth) - baju burong (bird shirt) - baju buri (bead shirt) - baju gagong (animal skin cloth) - Engkerimok - Unus Lebus - Simpai Rangki - Tumpa Bala (five on both sides) - Labong Pakau or lelanjang (headgear) The female costume include, Kain Batating (Petticoat with decorated bells at the bottom end) - Rawai Tinggi (High Corset with Rattan Coils inserted with small Brass Rings) - Sugu Tinggi (High headgear) - Marik Empang (Beaded Chain) - Selampai (Long Scalp) - Lampit (Silver Belt) - Tumpak (Armlet) - Gelang kaki (Anklet) - Antin pirak (Silver stud earrings) - Buah pauh purse The Iban agriculture and economy The Ibans plant paddy once a year with twenty seven stages. Other crops planted include ensabi, cucumber (rampu amat and rampu betu), brinjal, corn, lingkau and cotton before commercial threads are sold in the market. For cash, the Ibans find jungle produce for sale in the market. Later, they plant rubber, pepper and cocoa which prevail to this day. Nowadays, many Ibans work in the town areas to seek employment or involve in trade or business.
  • 11. Note: Both marik empang and selampai are not originally belong to the Iban traditional costume but added to cover the chest of Iban ladies. There are variations of the Iban female costume as per the reference Food