Monday, 24 March 2008

The IBANS of Sarawak

The Ibans are also known as Sea Dayaks, practised headhunting and tribal expansion in the past. They are the largest ethnic group in Sarawak. Originally, they were hunters, farmers and gatherers and practising animistic religion (mostly converted to be Christians or Muslims now). They were the most feared tribe in Borneo at one time. With urbanisation, they no longer are headhunters but hold on strongly to their own cultures and traditions. All pictures are from here and here.

Iban at a paddy field, with most Iban woman leading, planting and harvesting rice. Rice too is Asian main staple food.



An Iban elder doing a Ngajat warrior dance accompanied with gongs and drums, as part of their Gawai Kenyalang or Hornbills Festival.


A heavily tattooed Iban man complete with hornbills or other feathered headdress. On his hip is a tube containing poisoined darts to shoot at small animals, and a 2 foot long decorated sword.


A pretty Iban girl in traditional gear, complete with silver ornaments, necklace, anklets,bracelets and silver coins in her sarong.


The Ibans has a strong affinity with the sea and rivers, here crossing Sarawak's Ranjang River.


Graceful dancer..


Famous for their intricate beadings.


Pua Kumbu, beautiful weavings.


I sure hope that they have given head hunting coz I am going there soon.

OK, something else. Do you know Anya Peters? If you had read Readers Digest recently, you'll know her. She's the owner of this blog -
WanderingScribe, was a homeless and jobless girl who lived in a car for months in Woodland, UK. Luckily, her blog was discovered and she now has a book published with the title, Abandoned. Of course, she is no longer jobless or homeless, nor is she living in her car, but she had great support from many people from her very first post. I think that was so inspiring, that all these people who visited her blog gave her support during her difficult times. When I read her blog, I reminded myself to appreciate the many beautiful things surrounding me, my friends, my colleagues and most importantly, my family.

So, cheers and have a fantastic week ahead :)