Monday, August 25, 2014

✿ Head Hunters Kingdom of SarawaK ✿


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.

The war (ngayau) regulations among the Iban Dayaks are listed below:

If a war leader 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 empty-handed 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 war leader 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 war leader; the remainder belongs to the killer or captor.
The war leader must be honest with his followers in order that in future wars he may not be defeated (alah bunoh).

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 centered 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.
For protection against enemy attacks according to the principle of “attack first before being attacked”.
As a symbol of power and social status ranking where the more heads someone has, the respect and glory due to him. The war leader 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. For territorial expansion where some brave Dayaks intentionally migrated into new areas such as Mujah “Buah Raya” migrated from Skrang to Paku to Kanowit  while infighting among Ibans themselves in Batang Ai caused the Ulu Ai Ibans to migrate to Batang Kanyau River in Kapuas, Kalimantan and then proceeded to Katibas and later on Ulu Rajang in Sarawak. The earlier migrations from Kapuas to Batang Ai, Batang Lupar, Batang Saribas and Batang Krian rivers were also made possible by fighting the local tribes like Bukitan.


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 or murder is against the Christian Bible teachings for whatever reasons.

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 and also in late 90s when the Dayak started to attack Madurese emigrants in an explosion of ethnic violence.

It should be noted headhunting or human sacrifice was also practiced by other tribes such as follows:

Toraja community in Sulawesi used adat Ma’ Barata (human sacrifice) in Rambu Solo’ ritual which is still held until the arrival of the Hindi Dutch which is a custom to honor someone with a symbol of a great warrior and bravery in a war.

In Gomo, Sumatra, there were megalithic artifacts where one of them is “batu pancung” (beheading stone) on which to tie any captive or convicted criminals for beheading.


One distinction was their ritual practice of head hunting, once prevalent among tribal warriors in Nagaland and among the Naga tribes in Myanmar. They used to take the heads of enemies to take on their power.

What's Meaning of  "Ngayau"
"Ngayau" a.k.a Head Hunter.
Ngayau is one of the expedition attacks perpetrated in Tradition Traditional Tribal Dayak Iban at a time. At the start of  "Ngayau" done or started from the origin ''Mengayau'' Dayak Tribe, one of the ancestral tribe living in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
The meaning of the word is meant Ngayau: An expedition of a group of people who go and attack villages or longhouses others where it is known as "Kayau Serang" the head hunt attack. And another type of attack made with a small amount of his followers and it is known as "Kayau Anak". "Kayau Anak" is an attack that is feared by all the people in days of old.
The meaning " Kayau Serang " is a large group of men gathered and assembled to make a large batch having been summoned by a chief and plans to organize an attack against the enemy where they are coming in droves from different longhouses to attack the enemy by word word order of their leader known as "Tuai Kayau " or "Tuai Serang".



The meaning "Kayau Anak" is an attack against the enemy expedition organized by a small group of people consisting of about twenty war hero who dares oppose the enemy or smaller than that. They are going to attack the enemy when the enemy was on the way to the rice fields, in the course of the river bathing, or are looking ferns in the forest, or being in the woods hunting or given.
They perform this attack without careful planning or can be said to be done by the liver spontaneous revolt against the enemy. That's why we've heard stories of people who went to the first Iban rice fields must be cared for by a group of warriors brave enough against enemy for fear they will be victims of "Kayau Anak"attack. Please read the story "Peturun Iban" in the chapter "Bangsa Seru" in which it reported the grandson of an Iban warrior named Demong, who became head of the Iban tribe in the area of ​​"Batang Paku", Betong is known by the name Belaki , has died due to "Serang Kayau" by Seru tribe when they were working rice fields in the area known as the "Tanjung Kundong", Batang Paku, Betong. Also with him was his wife dead named Beremas ( brother to a Leader Attack Iban named Uyut or better known as Besi Bedilang ). Bedilang in Iban language is the one place where the Iban smoked been decapitated heads of enemies at home a long time ago. Belaki brother in law,also killed named Kadir.
But tribes Seru who has done it successfully kayau children chased and captured by their hero named Jimbai, Umar, Jelema and Buma. The Seru were killed when they are resting while waiting for their friend to climb trees "Keranji" having fled, bringing with them a head Belaki who were beheaded. Tribes Seru has been killed in an area known as "Bukit Tampak Panas" between the continent "Batang Paku" and "Batang Rimbas".

During expedition this ngayau warriors defeated their enemies must decapitate enemies they killed as a sign of their bravery in the attack. They will also seize all enemy property they like, as they wish and also capture all the enemies that are still alive to be brought back to their hometowns so adversary will later serve as their eternal slave. There are also those who managed to defeat the enemy is capturing young princess Kayau chief enemy and serve as their wives.



The main reason they must cut off the head of his enemy and bring them back to the longhouse is a sign of courage, agility and prowess against the enemy. During expedition ngayau the last. And those who have managed to decapitate the enemy that just killed an enemy or they are known by the Dayak ancestral tribe as "Bedengah" and they are known by many as the "Bujang Berani".

The story of this Ngayau been written in a book by Bock paper in 1881 titled "The Head Hunters of Borneo" which tells the Dayak tribe is a tribe that lived on the island of Borneo is known for being a brave sacrifice their lives to the death of last wishes to get as many decapitated heads of enemies successfully conquered when they go Ngayau, which they can raise their name as being known and designated as a leader among their people. The other reason this is done is because Ngayau ended his period of mourning by the Dayak tribes during ancient times in longhouses. Prior to the expiry of the period of mourning, then all the tribes sakat people who have died will be calling all the occupants in their longhouses to meet to discuss how they 're ending the mourning period to the other, so it's far more of their historic.

Follow the traditions of Dayak tribes before they are gone it is intended to "Ngayau Anak" get the human head to end their period of mourning in the longhouses in lieu of their family members who have died that. After they managed to get the man 's head they will come back as soon as possible and when they got home run, they will be greeted with joy, which is named as "Mangka Ka Selaing" which means prayer of thanksgiving.



Upon arrival at its main entrance their longhouses, they would shout as loudly heart as a warning indicating they have reached, and it will also be rewarded by hitting the gong of the longhouse residents. Their arrival will be greeted as a hero custom welcomed war. Human head was brought back to be greeted by a female or wife warriors themselves using nyiru used as tampi by them. Or it will be welcomed to use a large ceramic plate size of her , covered with a cloth woven using Dayak tribe known as "Pua Kumbu" which is a special fabric made ​​traditionally by the Dayak tribe for a massive ceremony. It is also celebrated using the symbolic language cuss Sampi used by Dayak tribes to greet the head of the enemy.

Once the enemy's head brought into the home long did other people in the longhouse in turn bring with them the head of the enemy by means of a symbolic dance along the length of the house known as "Naku Antu Pala" until it reaches the middle of the enemy's head living center of the mourners. After the enemy's head in the living room of the new mourners mourning is terminated. Follow the traditions of ancient Dayak tribes during the period of mourning the deceased family members are not allowed to cut the hair, the longhouse residents can not hold any ritual gatherings, no visitors from other longhouses allowed to travel to their longhouses and many other taboo other marks a sad and heartbroken by the death of the last.

Done alone dealt with the funeral earlier terminated, the head of the enemy will be carried into the living room in the longhouse chief. The head of the enemy will be placed in a special place called "Bedilang Tampun", it was the place where the head of the enemy will be smoked in the longhouse. The head of the enemy will be a war hero estate sign in longhouses. Only then will the people living in the longhouse had uapacara gatherings called "Gawai Enchaboh Arong", as a token of gratitude, war hero beating victory over their enemies.

So for reasons of courage, strength, agility and sacrifice of the soul, then start Dayak tribes in ancient times and continue to take pride in doing espedisi attack "Ngayau" to avenge the death of their family member who died at the hands of the enemy without any reason that is not known. They also melakaukan "Ngayau" as to seize the inheritance of others, jostling for power to be a leader, and also to take advantage seize the property of others. So anyone who managed to beat the opponent in the expedition "Ngayau" will mendai famous, distinguished as a war hero and respected people in the area.



The man was last when he was known as a war hero after he returned from the expedition "Ngayau", then he would make a mark on his body known as body tattoo black corak bermotifkan humans, animals or plants. Tatto is known as the "Carving" or "Kelingai". They can also use a hat called "Ketapu" or "Selapok Betunjang" where the cap will be attached with a peacock feather or a hornbill. They can also use clothing made ​​from the skin of wild animals like leopard, leopards and bears are known as "Gagong". Warriors battle going expedition "Ngayau" there must be a good sign in a dream and also believes that the sound of birds that they can help their fate before they go "Ngayau." Or make great boat for espedisi concerned. In all the things they want to do will be preceded by a ceremonial "Miring", a ritual worship to the gods that they believe can help them during the attack "Ngayau" later. "Miring" must do because they believe that god or "Tua" they'll go with the attack and help them to succeed in the attack.
According to a book written by novelist named Miller in 1946 titled "Black Borneo". He's saying that all the heroes of the Dayak tribes who go "Ngayau" there has strength, agility and the extraordinary courage of ordinary people to another. And what happened to the heroes is that they have incredible power, which is not known from any cause during his battle with the enemy, even more so when they have managed to decapitate their enemies. And also by faith Dayak tribes, skulls of the slain mempunyaui lot of power that can help them in the past it if he is well cared for and respected by his owner. Human skull was also known as "Antu Pala" can be used to treat critically ill patients when a ceremonial "Gawai Burung", the ceremony of blessing the crowds to apply traditional treat patients using the power of the spirit of the term in the head . " Antu Pala " may also be used by farmers to apply it rains during the summer drought parched. And when the power is on "Antu Pala" has been exhausted or depleted, which is why its one of the causes of why they go "Ngayau" again to get the parts so that they have the legal permanent "Antu Pala" that can help them live all the time. "Antu Pala" juag can be used to keep the house or fields from destruction by wild animals if he is someone who is knowledgeable can make his power exists as required by the owner.

According to Mc Kinley book written in 1976, he asked why the Dayak tribes when they are safely back from the expedition. "Ngayau" olden days must bring back the head of the enemy who were beheaded and not bring other parts of the body as a sign of their courage sekalu a war hero. And in his opinion that the Dayak tribe felt proud when bailik of eksepidisi "Ngayau" and bring with them the head of the enemy who were killed as a sign of victory for Dayak tribes believe that the head of the enemy is the same as an enemy of the body. Because of the style of the look of a man in the head we can easily identify who the person is and also it allows them to know who murdered sakat quarter during an attack "Ngayau" it.



Expedition "Ngayau", all the heroes of Dayak Iban suiku can show courage, strength and agility when attacking their opponents, allowing them to seek the title of "Bujang Berani". Bujang Berani is also a much sought after among all the girls in the past to serve as a husband or they can also easily be accepted by the Lead Kayau, or wealthy dignitaries to be son-in-law while they look for candidates during the engagement ceremony is done. According to the stories of the ancients that "Ngayau" was started by a tribal god named Keling Iban Dayak native continent Libau Panggau Lendat In Biau Takang Isang where he won the title "Keling Gerasi Nading, Bujang Berani Kempang, Mayuh Rembang". And the act of beheading his enemies at first performed by a god named Lang Sengalang Burung when they fought against the British tribes in the ocean wilderness. But being too angry when he joined the expedition "Ngayau" suddenly Lang Sengalang Burung continue cutting all the dead who have successfully killed the enemy, and then cut the head of his which is separating the head and body, and immediately brought him all the enemy's head back to their longhouses in Gelung Batu Nakung as proof that he is a "Bujang Berani" or a real war hero.



Preparation for Head Hunters :
Before all the heroes of Dayak Tribes go " Ngayau " , all in the first longhouse residents shall notify all Iban longhouse residents living near or along rivers in the area in which they are related or good friends in pleasure or distress that's a special meeting of expeditions " Ngayau " will be held by the Kayau them .

Upon completion of all Preparatory meetings to go " Ngayau " all the people involved will work together to make war boats called All " Boat Kayau " . The boat is made ​​durables Using wood for her sais expeditions and should fit in as much as a war hero who would go on to join the war . They are also gearing up to make some weapons to fight like Iban swords called All " ilang " and " Nyabor . "

They also make a shield made ​​of light wood sereta run dry for easy Carrying while attacking the enemy . They also make a wooden blowgun " Tapang " or of type kayau durables cans so that's They kill the enemy from a distance without being noticed by the strength They release a type of arrow known as the " Laja " that was ready made from objects sharp and has digauli with Rattlesnake venom like a cobra or locust wood and rubber ipoh .

Once all the Sonny PREPARATIONS are completed and continue to hold a meeting to determine the length of time that's seuai and also to any direction They want to go " ngayau " later . A week BEFORE They go " ngayau " all the women in the Longhouse has completed all PREPARATIONS to hold persemahan to Their gods They believe that's tanah cans help the success of the attack later .

Persons seeking men would go hunt animals and fish menuba river so that's They have Sufficient food supplies for Their wives and children who live in the period during your longhouses They go to war . They also go in search of Charms and Amulets from relatives who live close to Their Success Expedition " ngayau " later ..

The day BEFORE They go to war , They will cook the rice , bamboo rice cylinder , Which would be Their food during your Provision the journey to to be attacked . The night BEFORE They go to war , They will gather at the Longhouse in the living room " Harvest Kayau " the chief war to mengadaakan uoacara semahan to god and the god They believe ur help in our cans Expedition " ngayau " later . They also will adore all the Charms and Amulets are used to fight in the ceremony .

During the ceremony the " Harvest kayau " and assisted by some healers and shamans will be Able to choose all the men who volunteered to go to join the Expedition Because They fear if he is not selected men , Sonny will be dead or in trouble during your the war later . " Harvest Kayau " Which man will also choose cans be Appointed as the chief of the guards to Their wives and children who live in long houses , abandoned during your the war later, as They are also afraid that's Their longhouses will be attacked by the other Enemies .

During semahan and cult rituals make up gods , gods that's They believe , Amulets and Charms that's They have and also other things and are believed to help tanah the success of the attack later , They will provide semahan known as " dish" in the form of The annual materials stated the following :



Seven Dishes glutinous rice ,
Seven env " Tumpe " made of rice mixed with glutinous rice ,
seven env " Rendai " of fried rice is dried up like pop corn ,
seven eggs,
a large storage tray : 
(a ) Bethel.
( b ) leaves Engkelait.
( c ) Cigarettes made ​​of palm leaves.
( d ) Chalk. 
( e ) Fruit Banana 
( f ) Tobacco 
( g ) Seventh seed rice cake made ​​of glutinous rice , black ,
6 . A plate of cakes Prison , cakes and cakes cap nets ,
7 . 3 pairs of " Keresang " which was woven bamboo baskets square as
well as some of the pieces at the top of the reed and woven like a
bowl for storing " dish" ,
They two men or female pigs ,
a " Antu Pala " of human that's Skulls were beheaded When They defeated the enemy in the Expedition " ngayau "
Which is a drinking water Toddy made ​​with yeast and glutinous rice ,
A huge coconut ,
that's piece of cloth is used as a flag to go to war " ngayau . "

In That night all the men who were selected to participate in the Expedition " ngayau " will be asked to sit together in the living room " Lead Kayau " and going to dinner together . After the ceremony make worship " dish" of seven Dishes ready , then " Lead Kayau " will choose a designated person to make use of the cult 's mantra of the " Saucer " with swung the chicken above " plate " is .

Chickens that's have been used in rituals of the cult will swing over the heads of all the men who were selected to participate in the Expedition " ngayau " at least three times each , and Successful berdoakan They will be in the attack , healthy and protected from future disasters along the way . " Harvest Kayau " ai threw his Toddy received solely for For further gods by seven times , for praying for god and god will protect ur phone from any kind of trouble and success of the Expedition " ngayau " later .



The meaning of the rice in the packet of " dish" is praying for all the heroes of the Expedition will unite and work together Successfully " Ngayau " later . And also Their meaning and use ai Toddy the drink during your Ceremony " Tilt " is to Prevent Them getting all the heroes of that goes " Ngayau " is energetic and willing to fight tooth and nail against the enemy . Meaning Sonny " Italic " Uses " Tumpe " is his loyal imagine meditating to the " Harvest Kayau " in the attack . Meaning They Sow " Rendai " is to imply that's the gods Dayak Tribes from the continent will come Panggau Libau ur help in the attack . And also the meaning of cigarettes made ​​from palm leaves , betel , and materials " dish" the rest will be Stored in Different five parts , and Stored in the " Keresang " and Placed ditiang sri (play) Longhouse or Placed Them ditiang ' Ranyai " the tree is Placed in the middle of the Longhouse the coop it will be Placed under the tree all the Charms and Amulets to fight to the gods and god kept ur coming from Libau Panggau continent through incantation called All the shamans or shamans during your Ceremony " Italic " The Learned later that's people in the longhouses and their presence needs help Immediately .



Mini Info about Ibans :
- formerly known as Sea Dayaks.
- 30% of Sarawak's populations Iban.
- Population 600,00 ( Sarawak only )
- In ancient times they were a strong warring tribe.
- They were branded the pioneers of headhunting.