Home Region:  Archipelago (Southeast Asia)

Iban - Brooke Raj and Colonial

EQ 2020  id_iban_2 / IdBrokL

The Kapuasi basin is located in Western Kalimantan, in Borneo, and has long been inhabited by the Iban or Dayak. These are a river people whose culture emphasizes individual resourcefulness, egalitarianism, personal mobility, and opening new land for settlement. [1] The Iban in fact trace their origins to the Kapuasi basin, and it was from there that they aggressively expanded their territory between the 17th and the 19th centuries, practising headhunting and slavery. [2] In 1841, Iban expansion was checked by British adventurer James Brooke, of the so-called Brooke Raj. This pushed some Iban westward, while others became part of the Raj itself. The governed Iban communities were relatively autonomous in the regulation of local matters, although a colonial administrative structure was superimposed onto the Iban system. The White Rajahs sought to suppress infighting and mobilize Iban communities for their own military interests. [3] With the exception of a period of Japanese control during the Second World War, [4] the British maintained control over this particular region up until Brunei’s independence in 1984. [5]
Population and political organization
Before the establishment of the Brooke Raj, there were no permanent leaders among the Iban: instead, groups of family leaders directed the affairs of each house. Warriors, bards, augurs and other specialists could all become men of influence. James Brooke, as Rajah of Sarawak, created political positions, such as headman, regional chief and paramount chief, to better control Iban society, particularly in terms of extracting taxes and suppressing headhunting. Iban political organization also changed profoundly with the creation of permanent political positions and the establishment of political parties in the early 1960s. [2]
It seems that the Iban lived in autonomous longhouse communities of about 500 inhabitants each, both before and probably for some time after the imposition of Brooke Raj authority. [2] More recently, we know that the 1985 census for Sarawak estimates the number of Iban at around 439,000 people. [6]

[1]: (Sandin 1980, xi) Sandin, Benedict. 1980. Iban Adat And Augury. Penang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia for School of Comparative Social Sciences. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/3I4RXPUZ.

[2]: (Sutlive and Beierle 1995) Sutlive Jr., Vinson H., and John Beierle. 1995. “Culture Summary: Iban.” eHRAF World Cultures. http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/document?id=oc06-000. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/B4RV87D4.

[3]: (Gomes 1911, 77) Gomes, Edwin H. 1911. Seventeen Years among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo: A Record of Intimate Association with the Natives of the Bornean Jungles. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/N6JNADA8.

[4]: (Andaya and Andaya 2016, 261-68) Andaya, Barbara Watson, and Leonard Y. Andaya. 2016. A History of Malaysia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/VXPWW92R.

[5]: (Andaya 2008, 455) Andaya, Barbara Watson. 1992. “Political Development between the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” In The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol. 1: From Early Times to C. 1800, edited by Nicholas Tarling, 402-59. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/UQTUBXM2.

[6]: (Davison and Sutlive 1991, 158) Davison, Julian, Vinson H. Sutlive, and Vinson H. Sutlive. 1991. “Children of Nising: Images of Headhunting and Male Sexuality in Iban Ritual and Oral Literature.” In Female and Male in Borneo: Contributions and Challenges to Gender Studies, 153-230. Williamsburg, VA: Borneo Research Council. Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/5U8X7Q5P.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
49 N  
Original Name:
Iban - Brooke Raj and Colonial  
Capital:
Kuching  
Alternative Name:
Dayaks  
Sea Dayaks  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,900 CE ➜ 1,946 CE]  
Duration:
[1,841 CE ➜ 1,987 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
vassalage to [---]  
none  
Supracultural Entity:
South-East Asia  
Succeeding Entity:
Malaysia  
Indonesia  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
4,500,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration  
Preceding Entity:
Sultanate of Brunei  
Degree of Centralization:
loose  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Malayo-Polynesian  
Language:
Iban  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[25 to 500] people  
Polity Territory:
124,450 km2  
Polity Population:
-  
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]  
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
2  
Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
inferred present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent  
Merit Promotion:
absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent  
Examination System:
absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent  
Judge:
absent 1841 CE 1924 CE
inferred present 1924 CE 1987 CE
Formal Legal Code:
absent 1841 CE 1924 CE
inferred present 1924 CE 1987 CE
Court:
absent 1841 CE 1924 CE
inferred present 1924 CE 1987 CE
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
absent  
Food Storage Site:
absent  
Drinking Water Supply System:
absent  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent  
Port:
absent  
Canal:
absent  
Bridge:
absent  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
absent  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent 1841 CE 1921 CE
inferred present 1922 CE 1987 CE
Script:
absent 1841 CE 1921 CE
present 1922 CE 1987 CE
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent 1841 CE 1921 CE
present 1922 CE 1987 CE
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent  
Sacred Text:
absent 1841 CE 1921 CE
present 1922 CE 1987 CE
Religious Literature:
absent  
Practical Literature:
absent  
Philosophy:
absent  
Lists Tables and Classification:
absent  
History:
absent  
Fiction:
absent  
Calendar:
absent 1841 CE 1921 CE
present 1922 CE 1987 CE
Information / Money
Token:
absent  
Precious Metal:
absent  
Paper Currency:
present  
Indigenous Coin:
absent  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent  
General Postal Service:
absent  
Courier:
absent  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
present  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
absent  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
present  
  Iron:
present  
  Copper:
inferred absent  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
absent  
  Sling:
unknown  
  Self Bow:
absent  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
inferred present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
absent  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
unknown  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
inferred absent  
  Dagger:
absent  
  Battle Axe:
unknown  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
absent  
  Elephant:
absent  
  Donkey:
absent  
  Dog:
present  
  Camel:
absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
absent  
  Plate Armor:
absent  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
absent  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
absent  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
inferred absent  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Iban - Brooke Raj and Colonial (id_iban_2) was in:
 (1842 CE 1987 CE)   Kapuasi Basin
Home NGA: Kapuasi Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Iban - Brooke Raj and Colonial

It is unclear whether ’Iban’ or ’Dayak’ was the name used originally. There is some variation concerning the usage of ethnonyms among the Iban of Borneo. ’The name "Iban" is of uncertain origin. Early scholars regarded it as originally a Kayan term, HIVAN, meaning "wanderer." The use of the name by those Iban in closer association with Kayan gives support to this possibility. Other Iban, of Sarawak’s First and Second Divisions, used the name "Dayak", and even today consider "Iban" a borrowed term. The participation of a few Iban in alliances with Malays for coastal piracy in the 19th century led to their being called "Sea Dayaks." Iban are to be encountered in all of the political divisions of the island of Borneo, but in the largest numbers in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the northwest coast. They have lived predominantly in the middle-level hills of the island, and during the last 150 years, fully half have moved onto the delta plains.’ [1] ’Iban’ is the more commonly used term in the ethnographic literature. ’Dayak’ is sometimes used to signify the entire tribal population of Borneo: ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [2] Iban was chosen due to its prevalence in the ethnographic record. For ethnonyms, see below.

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak


Capital:
Kuching

The White Rajahs resided in Kuching. ’The city was founded in 1839 by James (later Sir James) Brooke, who also founded the Brooke Raj and became ruler of Sarawak. He built the city’s first European-style house on the jungled southern bank of the muddy, crocodile-infested Sarawak River, 15 miles (24 km) from the South China Sea.’ [1] ’During the first phase of Sarawak’s history, Broke sent numerous punitive expeditions out from Kuching in an attempt to pacify the area. After each successful attempt in lands which belonged to the Sultan of Brunei, Brooke renewed his efforts to be granted dominion over the newly pacified area in exchange for financial remuneration. With each pacification came new Iban migrations. Piece by piece, the Brooke Raj was extended, eating up the territory of Brunei, while the Iban population continued to move in the same general direction, although not as quickly as the government (Figures 1.2 and 1.3).’ [2] The Iban population itself was not organized around a capital, and permanent urban migration set in late, temporary labour migration being the norm for the duration of White Rajah rule.

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Kuching

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 13p


Alternative Name:
Dayaks

It is unclear whether ’Iban’ or ’Dayak’ was the name used originally. There is some variation concerning the usage of ethnonyms among the Iban of Borneo. ’The name "Iban" is of uncertain origin. Early scholars regarded it as originally a Kayan term, HIVAN, meaning "wanderer." The use of the name by those Iban in closer association with Kayan gives support to this possibility. Other Iban, of Sarawak’s First and Second Divisions, used the name "Dayak", and even today consider "Iban" a borrowed term. The participation of a few Iban in alliances with Malays for coastal piracy in the 19th century led to their being called "Sea Dayaks." Iban are to be encountered in all of the political divisions of the island of Borneo, but in the largest numbers in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the northwest coast. They have lived predominantly in the middle-level hills of the island, and during the last 150 years, fully half have moved onto the delta plains.’ [1] ’Iban’ is the more commonly used term in the ethnographic literature. ’Dayak’ is sometimes used to signify the entire tribal population of Borneo: ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [2]

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak

Alternative Name:
Sea Dayaks

It is unclear whether ’Iban’ or ’Dayak’ was the name used originally. There is some variation concerning the usage of ethnonyms among the Iban of Borneo. ’The name "Iban" is of uncertain origin. Early scholars regarded it as originally a Kayan term, HIVAN, meaning "wanderer." The use of the name by those Iban in closer association with Kayan gives support to this possibility. Other Iban, of Sarawak’s First and Second Divisions, used the name "Dayak", and even today consider "Iban" a borrowed term. The participation of a few Iban in alliances with Malays for coastal piracy in the 19th century led to their being called "Sea Dayaks." Iban are to be encountered in all of the political divisions of the island of Borneo, but in the largest numbers in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, on the northwest coast. They have lived predominantly in the middle-level hills of the island, and during the last 150 years, fully half have moved onto the delta plains.’ [1] ’Iban’ is the more commonly used term in the ethnographic literature. ’Dayak’ is sometimes used to signify the entire tribal population of Borneo: ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [2]

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,900 CE ➜ 1,946 CE]

During the latter half of the 19th century, the Iban communities of Borneo were increasingly subject to incursions on the part of the expanding White Rajah polity. ’During the first phase of Sarawak’s history, Broke sent numerous punitive expeditions out from Kuching in an attempt to pacify the area. After each successful attempt in lands which belonged to the Sultan of Brunei, Brooke renewed his efforts to be granted dominion over the newly pacified area in exchange for financial remuneration. With each pacification came new Iban migrations. Piece by piece, the Brooke Raj was extended, eating up the territory of Brunei, while the Iban population continued to move in the same general direction, although not as quickly as the government (Figures 1.2 and 1.3).’ [1] ’The history of the Iban and of the Brookes has been written many times over, the most complete of the studies being that by Pringle (1970). In general, the following years were a study of conquest and expansion from 1841 to the turn of the century. When, in 1904, the British government formally intervened in Borneo, the expansion of Sarawak ended and its consolidation began.’ [2] The consolidation of Brooke Raj rule was terminated by the cessation of North Borneo to the Crown: ’In September 1941, on the centenary of Brooke rule, the third raja proclaimed a constitution designed to establish self-government for Sarawak, but shortly afterward the state fell to the Japanese. When World War II was over, Vyner Brooke decided that Sarawak should be ceded to Great Britain, and, after a bitter family feud, he formally terminated Brooke rule on July 1, 1946.’ [3] ’In July 1946 both Sarawak and North Borneo were made British crown colonies. In Dutch Borneo a strong nationalist sentiment developed and led to fighting between Indonesian and Dutch forces as the latter attempted to reimpose Netherlands control. Sovereignty passed to the Indonesians in 1949, and in 1950 a new constitution proclaimed Dutch Borneo part of the Republic of Indonesia. The British government relinquished its sovereignty over Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, when these territories joined the Malaysian federation. This marked the commencement of Indonesian hostilities in the form of guerrilla raids across the border. These raids ceased by agreement in 1966. Except for the period of Japanese occupation, Brunei was under British protection from 1888 to 1983. It became fully independent on Jan. 1, 1984.’ [4]

[1]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 13p

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 13

[3]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[4]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean


Duration:
[1,841 CE ➜ 1,987 CE]

’At Singapore (founded 20 years earlier by Sir Stamford Raffles), Brooke learned that Pengiran Muda Hassim, chief minister of the sultanate of Brunei, was engaged in war with several rebel Iban (Sea Dayak) tribes in neighbouring Sarawak, nominally under Brunei control. The rebellion was crushed with Brooke’s aid, and as a reward for his services the title of raja of Sarawak was conferred upon him in 1841, confirmed in perpetuity by the sultan of Brunei in 1846. For the next 17 years Brooke and a handful of English assistants made expeditions into the interior of Sarawak, partially suppressed the prevalence of headhunting, and established a secure government.’ [1] ’In September 1941, on the centenary of Brooke rule, the third raja proclaimed a constitution designed to establish self-government for Sarawak, but shortly afterward the state fell to the Japanese. When World War II was over, Vyner Brooke decided that Sarawak should be ceded to Great Britain, and, after a bitter family feud, he formally terminated Brooke rule on July 1, 1946.’ [1] ’In July 1946 both Sarawak and North Borneo were made British crown colonies. In Dutch Borneo a strong nationalist sentiment developed and led to fighting between Indonesian and Dutch forces as the latter attempted to reimpose Netherlands control. Sovereignty passed to the Indonesians in 1949, and in 1950 a new constitution proclaimed Dutch Borneo part of the Republic of Indonesia. The British government relinquished its sovereignty over Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, when these territories joined the Malaysian federation. This marked the commencement of Indonesian hostilities in the form of guerrilla raids across the border. These raids ceased by agreement in 1966. Except for the period of Japanese occupation, Brunei was under British protection from 1888 to 1983. It became fully independent on Jan. 1, 1984.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none

SCCS variable 84 ’Higher Political Organization’ is coded ’Absent’, not ’Peace group’, ’Alliances’, ’Confederation’, or ’International organization’. During White Rajah rule, the Iban population and territory were not part of the formal British colonial system. This changed in 1946 when Sarawak was ceded to the crown. ’The 19th century marked the full flower of the British Empire. Administration and policy changed during the century from the haphazard arrangements of the 17th and 18th centuries to the sophisticated system characteristic of Joseph Chamberlain’s tenure (1895-1900) in the Colonial Office. That office, which began in 1801, was first an appendage of the Home Office and the Board of Trade, but by the 1850s it had become a separate department with a growing staff and a continuing policy; it was the means by which discipline and pressure were exerted on the colonial governments when such action was considered necessary. [...] In the wake of the Indian Mutiny (1857), the British crown assumed the East India Company’s governmental authority in India. Britain’s acquisition of Burma (Myanmar) was completed in 1886, while its conquest of the Punjab (1849) and of Balochistān (1854-76) provided substantial new territory in the Indian subcontinent itself. The French completion of the Suez Canal (1869) provided Britain with a much shorter sea route to India. Britain responded to this opportunity by expanding its port at Aden, establishing a protectorate in Somaliland (now Somalia), and extending its influence in the sheikhdoms of southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Cyprus, which was, like Gibraltar and Malta, a link in the chain of communication with India through the Mediterranean, was occupied in 1878. Elsewhere, British influence in the Far East expanded with the development of the Straits Settlements and the federated Malay states, and in the 1880s protectorates were formed over Brunei and Sarawak.’ [1] Under White Rajah rule, these protectorates were largely autonomous, and only in 1946 were they ceded to the Crown: ’In September 1941, on the centenary of Brooke rule, the third raja proclaimed a constitution designed to establish self-government for Sarawak, but shortly afterward the state fell to the Japanese. When World War II was over, Vyner Brooke decided that Sarawak should be ceded to Great Britain, and, after a bitter family feud, he formally terminated Brooke rule on July 1, 1946.’ [2] ’In July 1946 both Sarawak and North Borneo were made British crown colonies. In Dutch Borneo a strong nationalist sentiment developed and led to fighting between Indonesian and Dutch forces as the latter attempted to reimpose Netherlands control. Sovereignty passed to the Indonesians in 1949, and in 1950 a new constitution proclaimed Dutch Borneo part of the Republic of Indonesia. The British government relinquished its sovereignty over Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, when these territories joined the Malaysian federation. This marked the commencement of Indonesian hostilities in the form of guerrilla raids across the border. These raids ceased by agreement in 1966. Except for the period of Japanese occupation, Brunei was under British protection from 1888 to 1983. It became fully independent on Jan. 1, 1984.’ [3]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/British-Empire

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[3]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean

Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]

SCCS variable 84 ’Higher Political Organization’ is coded ’Absent’, not ’Peace group’, ’Alliances’, ’Confederation’, or ’International organization’. During White Rajah rule, the Iban population and territory were not part of the formal British colonial system. This changed in 1946 when Sarawak was ceded to the crown. ’The 19th century marked the full flower of the British Empire. Administration and policy changed during the century from the haphazard arrangements of the 17th and 18th centuries to the sophisticated system characteristic of Joseph Chamberlain’s tenure (1895-1900) in the Colonial Office. That office, which began in 1801, was first an appendage of the Home Office and the Board of Trade, but by the 1850s it had become a separate department with a growing staff and a continuing policy; it was the means by which discipline and pressure were exerted on the colonial governments when such action was considered necessary. [...] In the wake of the Indian Mutiny (1857), the British crown assumed the East India Company’s governmental authority in India. Britain’s acquisition of Burma (Myanmar) was completed in 1886, while its conquest of the Punjab (1849) and of Balochistān (1854-76) provided substantial new territory in the Indian subcontinent itself. The French completion of the Suez Canal (1869) provided Britain with a much shorter sea route to India. Britain responded to this opportunity by expanding its port at Aden, establishing a protectorate in Somaliland (now Somalia), and extending its influence in the sheikhdoms of southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Cyprus, which was, like Gibraltar and Malta, a link in the chain of communication with India through the Mediterranean, was occupied in 1878. Elsewhere, British influence in the Far East expanded with the development of the Straits Settlements and the federated Malay states, and in the 1880s protectorates were formed over Brunei and Sarawak.’ [1] Under White Rajah rule, these protectorates were largely autonomous, and only in 1946 were they ceded to the Crown: ’In September 1941, on the centenary of Brooke rule, the third raja proclaimed a constitution designed to establish self-government for Sarawak, but shortly afterward the state fell to the Japanese. When World War II was over, Vyner Brooke decided that Sarawak should be ceded to Great Britain, and, after a bitter family feud, he formally terminated Brooke rule on July 1, 1946.’ [2] ’In July 1946 both Sarawak and North Borneo were made British crown colonies. In Dutch Borneo a strong nationalist sentiment developed and led to fighting between Indonesian and Dutch forces as the latter attempted to reimpose Netherlands control. Sovereignty passed to the Indonesians in 1949, and in 1950 a new constitution proclaimed Dutch Borneo part of the Republic of Indonesia. The British government relinquished its sovereignty over Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, when these territories joined the Malaysian federation. This marked the commencement of Indonesian hostilities in the form of guerrilla raids across the border. These raids ceased by agreement in 1966. Except for the period of Japanese occupation, Brunei was under British protection from 1888 to 1983. It became fully independent on Jan. 1, 1984.’ [3]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/British-Empire

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[3]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean

Suprapolity Relations:
none

SCCS variable 84 ’Higher Political Organization’ is coded ’Absent’, not ’Peace group’, ’Alliances’, ’Confederation’, or ’International organization’. During White Rajah rule, the Iban population and territory were not part of the formal British colonial system. This changed in 1946 when Sarawak was ceded to the crown. ’The 19th century marked the full flower of the British Empire. Administration and policy changed during the century from the haphazard arrangements of the 17th and 18th centuries to the sophisticated system characteristic of Joseph Chamberlain’s tenure (1895-1900) in the Colonial Office. That office, which began in 1801, was first an appendage of the Home Office and the Board of Trade, but by the 1850s it had become a separate department with a growing staff and a continuing policy; it was the means by which discipline and pressure were exerted on the colonial governments when such action was considered necessary. [...] In the wake of the Indian Mutiny (1857), the British crown assumed the East India Company’s governmental authority in India. Britain’s acquisition of Burma (Myanmar) was completed in 1886, while its conquest of the Punjab (1849) and of Balochistān (1854-76) provided substantial new territory in the Indian subcontinent itself. The French completion of the Suez Canal (1869) provided Britain with a much shorter sea route to India. Britain responded to this opportunity by expanding its port at Aden, establishing a protectorate in Somaliland (now Somalia), and extending its influence in the sheikhdoms of southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Cyprus, which was, like Gibraltar and Malta, a link in the chain of communication with India through the Mediterranean, was occupied in 1878. Elsewhere, British influence in the Far East expanded with the development of the Straits Settlements and the federated Malay states, and in the 1880s protectorates were formed over Brunei and Sarawak.’ [1] Under White Rajah rule, these protectorates were largely autonomous, and only in 1946 were they ceded to the Crown: ’In September 1941, on the centenary of Brooke rule, the third raja proclaimed a constitution designed to establish self-government for Sarawak, but shortly afterward the state fell to the Japanese. When World War II was over, Vyner Brooke decided that Sarawak should be ceded to Great Britain, and, after a bitter family feud, he formally terminated Brooke rule on July 1, 1946.’ [2] ’In July 1946 both Sarawak and North Borneo were made British crown colonies. In Dutch Borneo a strong nationalist sentiment developed and led to fighting between Indonesian and Dutch forces as the latter attempted to reimpose Netherlands control. Sovereignty passed to the Indonesians in 1949, and in 1950 a new constitution proclaimed Dutch Borneo part of the Republic of Indonesia. The British government relinquished its sovereignty over Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, when these territories joined the Malaysian federation. This marked the commencement of Indonesian hostilities in the form of guerrilla raids across the border. These raids ceased by agreement in 1966. Except for the period of Japanese occupation, Brunei was under British protection from 1888 to 1983. It became fully independent on Jan. 1, 1984.’ [3]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/British-Empire

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[3]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean


Supracultural Entity:
South-East Asia

The Iban belong to the non-Muslim ’tribal’ population of Borneo: ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [1] ’The Iban trace their origins to the Kapuas Lake region of Kalimantan. With a growing population creating pressures on limited amounts of productive land, the Iban fought members of other tribes aggressively, practicing headhunting and slavery. Enslavement of captives contributed to the necessity to move into new areas. By the middle of the 19th century, they were well established in the First and Second Divisions, and a few had pioneered the vast Rejang River valley. Reacting to the establishment of the Brooke Raj in Sarawak in 1841, thousands of Iban migrated to the middle and upper regions of the Rejang, and by the last quarter of the century had entered all remaining Divisions.’ [2] During the colonial period, cross-cultural interactions intensified, but the island of Borneo has a long history of interethnic mingling, extending supracultural interaction to non-Dayak communities on the island: ’Iban have lived near other ethnic groups with whom they have interacted. The most important of these societies have been the Malays, Chinese, Kayan, and during the Brooke Raj and the period of British colonialism, Europeans. The dynamic relations between Iban and these societies have produced profound changes in Iban society and culture.’ [2] We have followed eHRAF in grouping Borneo with South-East Asia [3] . Wikipedia gives the total size of South-East Asia as 4,500,000 km2 [4] .

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[3]: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/browseCultures.do?context=main#region=1

[4]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia


Succeeding Entity:
Malaysia

After the Japanese occupation of Borneo and the termination of British and Dutch rule, the island was governed by Malaysia and the Republic of Indonesia. ’After a period of occupation by the Japanese (1942-45) during World War II, Indonesia declared its independence from The Netherlands in 1945. Its struggle for independence, however, continued until 1949, when the Dutch officially recognized Indonesian sovereignty. It was not until the United Nations (UN) acknowledged the western segment of New Guinea as part of Indonesia in 1969 that the country took on its present form.’ [1] ’Malaysia, a member of the Commonwealth, represents the political marriage of territories that were formerly under British rule. When it was established on Sept. 16, 1963, Malaysia comprised the territories of Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia), the island of Singapore, and the colonies of Sarawak and Sabah in northern Borneo.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Indonesia

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Malaysia

Succeeding Entity:
Indonesia

After the Japanese occupation of Borneo and the termination of British and Dutch rule, the island was governed by Malaysia and the Republic of Indonesia. ’After a period of occupation by the Japanese (1942-45) during World War II, Indonesia declared its independence from The Netherlands in 1945. Its struggle for independence, however, continued until 1949, when the Dutch officially recognized Indonesian sovereignty. It was not until the United Nations (UN) acknowledged the western segment of New Guinea as part of Indonesia in 1969 that the country took on its present form.’ [1] ’Malaysia, a member of the Commonwealth, represents the political marriage of territories that were formerly under British rule. When it was established on Sept. 16, 1963, Malaysia comprised the territories of Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia), the island of Singapore, and the colonies of Sarawak and Sabah in northern Borneo.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Indonesia

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Malaysia


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
4,500,000 km2

km squared. The Iban belong to the non-Muslim ’tribal’ population of Borneo: ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [1] ’The Iban trace their origins to the Kapuas Lake region of Kalimantan. With a growing population creating pressures on limited amounts of productive land, the Iban fought members of other tribes aggressively, practicing headhunting and slavery. Enslavement of captives contributed to the necessity to move into new areas. By the middle of the 19th century, they were well established in the First and Second Divisions, and a few had pioneered the vast Rejang River valley. Reacting to the establishment of the Brooke Raj in Sarawak in 1841, thousands of Iban migrated to the middle and upper regions of the Rejang, and by the last quarter of the century had entered all remaining Divisions.’ [2] During the colonial period, cross-cultural interactions intensified, but the island of Borneo has a long history of interethnic mingling, extending supracultural interaction to non-Dayak communities on the island: ’Iban have lived near other ethnic groups with whom they have interacted. The most important of these societies have been the Malays, Chinese, Kayan, and during the Brooke Raj and the period of British colonialism, Europeans. The dynamic relations between Iban and these societies have produced profound changes in Iban society and culture.’ [2] We have followed eHRAF in grouping Borneo with South-East Asia [3] . Wikipedia gives the total size of South-East Asia as 4,500,000 km2 [4] .

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[3]: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/browseCultures.do?context=main#region=1

[4]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia


Relationship to Preceding Entity:
elite migration

’At Singapore (founded 20 years earlier by Sir Stamford Raffles), Brooke learned that Pengiran Muda Hassim, chief minister of the sultanate of Brunei, was engaged in war with several rebel Iban (Sea Dayak) tribes in neighbouring Sarawak, nominally under Brunei control. The rebellion was crushed with Brooke’s aid, and as a reward for his services the title of raja of Sarawak was conferred upon him in 1841, confirmed in perpetuity by the sultan of Brunei in 1846. For the next 17 years Brooke and a handful of English assistants made expeditions into the interior of Sarawak, partially suppressed the prevalence of headhunting, and established a secure government.’ [1] ’During the 1830’s, the ruler of the Sarawak district of Brunei (the present First Division of Sarawak) found himself with a territory in revolt. In summary, failing to resolve this problem himself, the Rajah Muda Hasim sought the assistance of the Englishman James Brooke. Brooke was instrumental in returning order to the area and in reducing the number and impact of pirates along the adjacent coast. In return, after some prevarication, procrastination and negotiation, the Rajah Muda Hasim transferred this district, with his rights to tax and rule, to Brooke who assumed the title of Rajah and established the dynasty of the “Three White Rajahs” which was to rule Sarawak from 1841 to 1941.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 10


Preceding Entity:
Sultanate of Brunei

’British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islāmic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom and then a British colony’ [1] ’At Singapore (founded 20 years earlier by Sir Stamford Raffles), Brooke learned that Pengiran Muda Hassim, chief minister of the sultanate of Brunei, was engaged in war with several rebel Iban (Sea Dayak) tribes in neighbouring Sarawak, nominally under Brunei control. The rebellion was crushed with Brooke’s aid, and as a reward for his services the title of raja of Sarawak was conferred upon him in 1841, confirmed in perpetuity by the sultan of Brunei in 1846. For the next 17 years Brooke and a handful of English assistants made expeditions into the interior of Sarawak, partially suppressed the prevalence of headhunting, and established a secure government.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Borneo-island-Pacific-Ocean

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj


Degree of Centralization:
loose

Under Brooke Raj rule, the governed Iban communities were relatively autonomous in the regulation of local matters, although a colonial administrative structure was superimposed onto the Iban system were independent small villages. The White Rajahs sought to suppress infighting and mobilize Iban communities for their own military interests: ’In the present day, under the rule of Rajah Brooke, no Sea Dyaks may go out on a fighting expedition unless called out for that purpose by the Government. I remember not long ago that there were some rebels in the upper reaches of the Batang Lupar River, who had been guilty of many murders, and would not submit to the Government. After trying milder measures without any effect, it was decided to take a force into their country, and the Government sent round the War Spear to let the people of the different villages know they were to be ready to go on expedition at a certain date.’ [1] ’Recurring hostility between the Brookes and the highest ranking Malays, who were “Arabs” and Brunei pengiran, grew out of rivalry, and the rivalry was in no small measure a contest for influence over the Iban population, as the history of the Malay Plot demonstrates. The Ibans were of central political importance because they loved to fight simply for the sake of fighting. The success of Charles Brooke with Iban levies from the lower Skrang and Saribas has already been described, but it is obvious that at this stage in Sarawak history, calling out the Ibans was still a game that more than one could play. At the time of the Chinese revolt in 1857, Charles had summoned his Skrang followers to the aid of besieged Kuching by sending a spear among them. Three years later the Brookes indignantly accused Sharif Masahor of using exactly the same tactic in the same area to call out hostile Ibans to fight the Rajah after the siege of Mukah. Well into the twentieth century, as we shall see, the dispatch of a “calling out spear” remained the standard official method of summoning Ibans for unpaid military service.’ [2] The allegiance of the Iban subject population to Brooke authority was loose and ambiguous: ’Friendly Ibans were frequently able to manipulate Residents, who depended on them for information as well as for striking power. A classic case of confusion took place in 1879 in the Second Division, when the Resident, F.R.O. Maxwell, entrusted a Government spear to a visiting Iban headman from the Kantu River in Dutch Borneo. Maxwell asked this man to deliver a message to another headman on the Skrang River, who was supposed to report to Fort Alice. In this case the spear was merely a token of Government authority, according to Maxwell’s account, but it was also the sign commonly employed to raise forces for an expedition. Instead of using it to summon the man Maxwell wanted to see, his messenger called out a large force of Skrang warriors and led them in an attack on certain enemies in the upper Batang Lupar. The Resident then demanded a heavy fine from the Skrang leaders, charging that they should have known better, Government spear or no, than to follow a spurious call to arms. But they refused to pay the fine, and made threats against the Government. Eventually Maxwell had to send two large punitive expeditions into the Skrang River to restore Brooke authority. He blamed the whole affair on the principal Skrang headman, Kedu (Lang Ngindang).’ [3]

[1]: Gomes, Edwin H. 1911. “Seventeen Years Among The Sea Dyaks Of Borneo: A Record Of Intimate Association With The Natives Of The Bornean Jungles", 77

[2]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 201

[3]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 391


Language

’The Iban language is distinct from other Bornean languages, and though it shares a limited number of words with Malay, it is not a Malay dialect.’ [1] ’Dayak, also spelled Dyak, Dutch Dajak, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of the island of Borneo, most of whom traditionally lived along the banks of the larger rivers. Their languages all belong to the Indonesian branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. Dayak is a generic term that has no precise ethnic or tribal significance. Especially in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), it is applied to any of the (non-Muslim) indigenous peoples of the interior of the island (as opposed to the largely Malay population of the coastal areas). In Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah), it is used somewhat less extensively and is often understood locally to refer specifically to Iban (formerly called Sea Dayak) and Bidayuh (formerly called Land Dayak) peoples. [...] Although lines of demarcation are often difficult to establish, the most prominent of the numerous Dayak subgroups are the Kayan (in Kalimantan usually called Bahau) and Kenyah, primarily of southeastern Sarawak and eastern Kalimantan; the Ngaju of central and southern Kalimantan; the Bidayuh of southwestern Sarawak and western Kalimantan; and the Iban of Sarawak.’ [2]

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Dayak


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[25 to 500] people

Inhabitants. The Iban lived in longhouses, and a "longhouse may include as few as four families with 25 residents in a structure less than 15 meters long, or as many as 80 families with 500 residents in a house about 300 meters long." [1] However, it is worth noting that the period under consideration is rather lengthy and witnessed a gradual process of urbanization, with consequent wage migration to the cities. [2] However, available demographic data for more recent and more urbanized include non-Iban communities as well, and more reliable figures for the Iban are difficult to find due to frequent migration. [1] We have therefore assumed that the longhouse village continued to form the most prevalent form of Iban settlement throughout this period, though this would have to be confirmed by an expert.

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 38p


Polity Territory:
124,450 km2

in squared kilometers Given the gradual extension of Brooke Raj rule, this variable is somewhat difficult to ’codify’. Iban communities and their headmen controlled relatively small tracts of land, but the Brooke Raj administration introduced additional administrative positions for Iban leaders for the purposes of colonial administration and indirect rule. It therefore seems appropriate to treat ’polity territory’ as co-extensive with Sarawak (even though Iban communities also resided elsewhere), given how most of our ethnographic data are from this area.


Polity Population:
-

People. ’The Iban are a riverine people, whose main areas of settlement in Sarawak are along the Saribas, Batang Lupar and Rejang river systems of the Second, Third, Sixth and Seventh Divisions. The 1985 census for Sarawak gives the Iban population at some 439,000 individuals which represents almost 30 percent of the total state population.’ [1] ’There were approximately 400,000 Iban in the state of Sarawak in 1989 (368,208 in 1980). Reliable figures for Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island, are unavailable.’ [2] Detailed reliable figures are hard to obtain due to frequent migrations among Iban communities. For the early days of Brooke Raj rule and the first punitive expeditions, reliable demographic data are equally unavailable, given the superficial reach of Sultanate authority (see pre-colonial Iban sheet).

[1]: Davison, Julian, and Vinson H. Sutlive 1991. “Children Of Nising: Images Of Headhunting And Male Sexuality In Iban Ritual And Oral Literature”, 158

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
[1 to 2]

levels. The Iban are likely to have a settlement hierarchy as follows: (1) Hamlet (residential only). SCCS variable 157 ’Scale 9-Political Integration’ is coded as ’Autonomous local communities’.
[(2); Colonial Towns;] (1) Hamlet or Longhouse Community
’Each longhouse, as each BILEK, is an autonomous unit. Traditionally the core of each house was a group of descendants of the founders. Houses near one another on the same river or in the same region were commonly allied, marrying among themselves, raiding together beyond their territories, and resolving disputes by peaceful means. [...] Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves).’ [1] ’Iban settlements are still predominantly in the form of longhouses. During the time when headhunting was endemic, the longhouse provided a sound strategy of defense. It continues to be a ritual unit, and all residents share responsibility for the health of the community. A longhouse is an attenuated structure of attached family units, each unit built by a separate family. The selection of different building materials and the uneven skills of Iban men who build their own houses are apparent in the appearance of family units, some with floors of split bamboo, others with planed and highly polished hardwood floors. The average width of a family unit is 3.5 meters, but the depth, that is, from front to back, varies widely. A longhouse may include as few as four families with 25 residents in a structure less than 15 meters long, or as many as 80 families with 500 residents in a house about 300 meters long. Access to a longhouse is by a notched-log ladder or stairs. At the top of the ladder is an uncovered porch (TANJU’) on which clothing, rice, and other produce may be dried. Inside the outer wall is a covered veranda (RUAI), which is the thoroughfare for traffic within the house, where women and old men sit during the daytime weaving or carving, and where families gather in the evening to recount the days events or to listen to folklore told by story-tellers. Beyond the inner wall is the family apartment (BILEK), where the family cooks and eats its meals, stores its heirlooms, and sleeps. Above the BILEK and extending halfway over the RUAI is a loft (SADAU) where the family’s rice is stored in a large bark bin and where unmarried girls sleep. The longhouse is constructed with its front to the water supply and preferably facing east. The core of each longhouse community is a group of siblings or their descendants. Through interethnic marriages, members of other societies may become part of Iban settlements to be assimilated as "Iban" in a generation or two. Until the past quarter-century, all Iban lived in or were related to longhouse settlements. Life in the longhouse was considered "normal", and those few people who lived in single-family dwellings apart from the longhouse were thought to be possessed by an evil spirit. [1] A longhouse constitutes an autonomous hamlet or village: ’The universal rule is that each long-house constitutes a single community; in other words, among the Iban the village and the long-house coincide. Moreover, traditionally each long-house community is an autonomous entity, not subject to the control of any other group. Every long-house is situated on part of a specified tract of land, and between long-houses there are always recognized boundaries, consisting in the main of unambiguous natural features such as streams or ridges. Each long-house then, is the domicile of a compact and independent community of families, and is situated on the bank of a river that is part of a specified territory over which these various families have either rights of access or ownership.’ [2] Most migration to urban centres took the form of temporary labour migration rather than permanent migration. Iban generally resided in longhouse villages during the Brooke Raj period.

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 8


Religious Level:
1

levels.
(1) Bards (LEMAMBANG), Augurs (TUAI BURONG), and Shamans (MANANG) associated with Longhouse Communities
’The personnel of Iban religion, the experts, are those individuals who have specific roles in relation to rice cultivation, augury, ritual celebrations and the ordering of society. They act as a channel between the world of immediate experience and its spirit antecedents and influences. The leading exponents of these roles in Iban society are four, although one or more functions may be vested in the same person. They are the tuai burong or augur, the tuai rumah or village headman, the lemambang or ritual incantation specialist, and, lastly, the manang--shaman or ‘healer’.’ [1] ’There are three religious practitioners: the bard (LEMAMBANG), the augur (TUAI BURONG), and the shaman (MANANG). Individually or in teams, bards are invited to chant at all major rituals. They are highly respected men, capable of recalling and adapting as appropriate, chants that go on for hours. The augur is employed for critical activities, such as farming or travelling. The shaman is a psychotherapist, who is consulted for unusual or persistent ailments.’ [2] ’For deliberate auguries the knowledge of an expert augur is usually sought. If the undertaking involves the efforts of the whole community, as, for example, house-building, responsibility for seeking omens generally falls on the tuai burong , or community augur. The latter is a man generally recognized for his experience and skill as an augur. In practice, beburong ordinarily precedes a great many lesser occasions, aside from the major ones mentioned, and responsibility for taking auguries normally rests with tuai burong or with the person who leads the undertaking. Because of the importance of augury, any man traditionally aspiring to leadership within the community, as a longhouse headman or senior family head, or within the wider region, as a war chief, migrational leader, or the head of a trading venture, was expected to possess a proficient knowledge of augury. The position of the tuai burong was traditionally one of considerable influence in Iban society and a knowledge of practical augury was an important requirement of leadership more generally.’ [3] Village headmen often double as augurs: ’Administration of customary law and the social code as such, the adat in its restricted and technical sense, falls to the tuai rumah (see above, pp. 25 seq.). Unlike the office of tuai burong , the tuai rumah is officially recognized by the government, although the position carries no emoluments. The functions of tuai rumah and tuai burong are distinct, but in practice it is often the same man who performs both. This was the case in approximately two-thirds of the longhouses studied in the Lemanak and Delok. In the past, while the Iban remained comparatively isolated and pindah migration was a recurrent event thought to depend for its success on spirit favour and the correct response to spirit guidance, the tuai burong was almost invariably also tuai rumah . In recent years, a more settled way of life and the expectation that the tuai rumah will act as host to visiting officials and as spokesman or longhouse representative before the authorities, have come to demand qualities which the traditional tuai burong did not need nor always possess.’ [4] Bards provide ritual incantations: ’The lemambang may perhaps be called a priest but he is not the ultimate authority on Iban religion. His concern is with intoning the ritual incantations, called pengap , which form a central part of major ceremonies ( gawai ). These occur intermittently. Although extremely important, they are not as significant in the context of day-to-day religion as are omens, dreams, and social ordinances.’ [5] ’The incantations include the full names, honorifics, and nick-names of the spirits. These are unfamiliar in detail to Iban other than the lemambang ; even the tuai burong rarely knows them fully. The lemambang , however, does not necessarily understand the precise role of the named spirits in augury or other rites, and does not, qua lemambang , participate in these. Less than being a priest, since he does not perform ritual acts, it is probably truer to say, as Scott (1956, 103) does in his dictionary, that the lemambang is the ‘bard’ of Iban society, albeit the liturgical bard or cantor.’ [6] Shamans act as healers and perform rituals associated with head-hunting, which are continued symbolically even after the cessation of infighting and head-taking: ’Various female deities are then summoned to “nurse” ( ngua ) the unhappy head, among them the wives of the legendary headhunting heroes of Panggau Libau. But even the best attempts of Kumang, Lulong, and the others are to no avail - the trophy head is inconsolable. In the end, in desperation, it is passed to the highest ranking shamans in the community - the manang bali’ . The latter are individuals who have changed their sex from male to female in the pursuit of their vocation ( bali’ lit. = “changed”), their adopted status being reflected in their female attire. The position of manang bali’ in society is a very special one in that they are able to slay malevolent demons ( antu ) in ritual combat. In this respect their role is comparable to that of Iban warriors, except that their deeds are performed in the supernatural realm against unseen foe, rather than on the ground against enemies of flesh and blood.’ [7]

[1]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 59

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[3]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, xxxviiip

[4]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 61

[5]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 62

[6]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 63

[7]: Davison, Julian, and Vinson H. Sutlive 1991. “Children Of Nising: Images Of Headhunting And Male Sexuality In Iban Ritual And Oral Literature”, 189


Military Level:
2

levels.
(2) local war leaders; (1) Citizen-Soldiers;
When head-taking and piracy were practiced, war parties were staffed with male community members: ’The taking of enemy heads then, was the prescriptive act for Iban males an act through which an individual could win for himself prestige and status within the longhouse community, while at the same time enhancing his desirability as a potential suitor and husband in the eyes of the opposite sex. But, as we have indicated, headhunting also had a ritual dimension which was of the utmost significance. It is the latter aspect which chiefly concerns us here, being to do with Iban conceptions of male and female gender roles and relations of production and reproduction within Iban society.’ [1] War parties were led by local war-leaders or village headmen: ’According to Sea Dayak custom, this feast, the fifth of the nine stages of the gawai burong , should be held only by an experienced war-leader. Linggir was undoubtedly a very brave man, but he was young, and certainly far less experienced than Uyut, his father. Linggir had already made a statue of the hornbill in preparation for his festival when the older people of the house warned him that it would be presumptuous for him to hold the feast while Uyut still lived. They said that such a rash action might anger Sengalang Burong.’ [2] ’Before the gawai diri may be held, the patron of the feast must lead his warriors against some enemy. So Uyut and his men set off to raid the Kantu Dayaks of Merakai, in what is now Indonesian Borneo, in order to get some fresh heads. But before they came back, all the food which had been gathered for the feast, including tuak wine and many different delicacies, began to go bad. So a brother-in-law of Uyut named Malang (Pengarah) decided to go ahead and hold the feast anyway, without the war-leader and his men. No sooner was it over than Uyut and his party returned from a victorious expedition. They were naturally outraged. Uyut and the others expelled Pengarah from the Anyut, and he retreated down river to live in the Serudit stream.’ [2] Head-hunting persisted well into the 20th century: ’The persistence of headhunting as a living tradition, up until at least the Second World War, and even beyond (albeit in a drastically curtailed form), has meant that many of the details connected with the taking of heads are well documented. Moreover, the ritual significance of headhunting, and its attendant ceremonies, continue to play an important role in contemporary Iban society. We have already spoken of headhunting festivals ( gawai amat ) held as celebrations of male prestige and achievement, but the traditional role of the Iban warrior continues to survive elsewhere in Iban culture, most notably in connection with mortuary rites. A visit to a Saribas Iban festival for the dead ( Gawai Antu ), for instance, reveals a more than sufficient number of candidates to drink the sacred wine ( ai’ garong ) dedicated to those who have passed away. Previously, only those who had distinguished themselves as headhunters could partake in this sacred symposium with the dead; today the taking of a life - usually when on active service in the Sarawak Field Force - suffices. In this instance, and others of a similar nature, the warrior tradition of Iban society is maintained, and the ritual significance of headhunting preserved, as a major component in the Iban value system.’ [3] Some Iban may have joined the civil and military administration early on, but expert feedback is needed on the matter.

[1]: Davison, Julian, and Vinson H. Sutlive 1991. “Children Of Nising: Images Of Headhunting And Male Sexuality In Iban Ritual And Oral Literature”, 157

[2]: Sandin, Benedict 1967. “Sea Dayaks Of Borneo: Before White Rajah Rule”, 39

[3]: Davison, Julian, and Vinson H. Sutlive 1991. “Children Of Nising: Images Of Headhunting And Male Sexuality In Iban Ritual And Oral Literature”, 169


Administrative Level:
[3 to 4]

levels. According to the Ethnographic Atlas’ variable 33 ’Jurisdictional Hierarchy Beyond Local Community’ was ’No levels (no political authority beyond community) (.0)’. SCCS variable 76 ’Community Leadership’ is coded as ’Single local leader and council’ SCCS variable 237 ’Jurisdictional Hierarchy Beyond Local Community’ is coded as ’Two levels (e.g., larger chiefdoms)’. SCCS variable 237 ’Jurisdictional Hierarchy Beyond Local Community’ is coded as ’No levels (no political authority beyond community)’
[(4) Brooke Raj Administration;] (3) Paramount Chief (TEMENGGONG); (2) Regional Chief (PENGHULU); (1) Village Headman (TUAI RUMAH)
Colonial rulers superimposed an administrative system of regional chiefs onto the village-based social structure of autonomous Iban longhouse communities: ’Prior to the arrival of the British adventurer, James Brooke, there were no permanent leaders, but the affairs of each house were directed by consultations of family leaders. Men of influence included renowned warriors, bards, augurs and other specialists. Brooke, who became Rajah of Sarawak, and his nephew, Charles Johnson, created political positions -- headman (TUAI RUMAH), regional chief (PENGHULU), paramount chief (TEMENGGONG) -- to restructure Iban society for administrative control, especially for purposes of taxation and the suppression of head-hunting. The creation of permanent political positions and the establishment of political parties in the early 1960s have profoundly changed the Iban.’ [1] Iban social organization nevertheless remained relatively egalitarian: ’The economic self-sufficiency of the bilik -family is reflected in other areas of Iban social life. Unlike the Kayan, Kenyah, pagan Melanau and several other Bornean peoples, the Iban are not divided into social classes. Nor is there any form of institutionalized leadership based upon hereditary succession, or some other socially divisive principle. Instead Iban society is characterized by a strongly egalitarian ethos. In this respect, each bilik -family jurally constitutes a discrete and autonomous social unit, which manages its own affairs and recognizes no higher authority than that of its own household head.’ [2] Longhouse communities are headed by informal leaders doubling as village functionaries: ’In every Iban long-house there are two offices of great importance--one secular and the other ritual. They are the positions of tuai rumah and tuai burong . In most long-houses they are held by different individuals, but it is perfectly permissible for one man to hold both offices, and in some communities this does happen. Neither position is ever held by a woman. (c.f. Footnote No. 22). When used as an adjective, the word tuai means old, or mature, but as a noun it refers to any senior and influential member of a community. Here, the emphasis is not primarily on age, but on the personal qualities of the individual concerned. Thus, a party of young men setting off on an expedition ( bejalai ), to gather jungle produce, always has its leader, or tuai , though he may be no more than in his early twenties. And in long-house communities, able, though only middle-aged men often come to exert very considerable authority and influence. In all contemporary long-houses however, there is one man who holds the title of tuai rumah , or house headman.’ [3] Some Iban may have joined the civil and military administration early on, but expert feedback is needed on the matter.

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: Davison, Julian, and Vinson H. Sutlive 1991. “Children Of Nising: Images Of Headhunting And Male Sexuality In Iban Ritual And Oral Literature”, 159

[3]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Report On The Iban Of Sarawak: Vol. 1: Iban Social Organization”, 46


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

Full-time specialists During the colonial period, wage labour was mostly temporary and practiced during the seasonal labour migrations of Iban men: ’In the present day, these bejalai migrations have involved young Iban males (aged 15 to 34 in general) in the petroleum and natural gas industries of Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and New Guinea, in the military forces of Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and Malaya, and in timber industries throughout the archipelago. Iban working in the construction industries have been of great importance in the national development efforts of Brunei. All of these activities have permitted the Iban to continue ladang cultivation at their homes, while supplementing family income through outside employment.’ [1] According to some sources, the White Rajahs employed Iban in their armed forces: ’Sir Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke (b. June 3, 1829, Berrow, Somerset, Eng.-d. May 17, 1917, Cirencester, Gloucestershire), who adopted the surname Brooke, became the second raja. The government of Charles Brooke has been described as a benevolent autocracy. Charles himself had spent much of his life among the Iban people of Sarawak, knew their language, and respected their beliefs and customs. He made extensive use of down-river Malay chiefs as administrators, and encouraged selective immigration of Chinese agriculturalists, while the dominant indigenous group, the Ibans, were employed in military service. In general, social and economic changes were limited in impact, shielding the inhabitants from both the benefits and the hardships of Western-style development.’ [2] There was no armed corps organized for the Iban specifically, and according to the information provided above, most Iban fighters were not compensated on a regular basis. Military service was therefore probably of a non-permanent nature and functioned within the Iban system of seasonal labour migration. Some Iban may have joined the civil and military administration early on, but expert feedback is needed on the matter.

[1]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 18

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj


Professional Priesthood:
present

Full-time specialists ’There are three religious practitioners: the bard (LEMAMBANG), the augur (TUAI BURONG), and the shaman (MANANG). Individually or in teams, bards are invited to chant at all major rituals. They are highly respected men, capable of recalling and adapting as appropriate, chants that go on for hours. The augur is employed for critical activities, such as farming or travelling. The shaman is a psychotherapist, who is consulted for unusual or persistent ailments.’ [1] ’Ritual is essential to preserve the spiritual well-being of the whole longhouse, as well as its families separately, and in the middle sections of this study Mr.Sandin outlines the major ritual festivals, or gawai , performed by the longhouse and describes the adat gawai , or rules of ritual procedure, that govern the performance of each of these festivals. More generally yet, observance of adat and ritual well-being are closely interrelated, a point I shall return to presently. As the author stresses at the outset of this study, the longhouse is a religious congregation, whose members are bound together by ties of ritual interdependence. For this reason, adat is of special importance to the Iban, for not only does it preserve social harmony among longhouse members, but, in doing so, it makes possible ritual cooperation upon which their collective prosperity and well-being is thought to depend.’ [2] Augurs act as experts in the interpretation of omens, with village leaders often doubling as augurs: ’For deliberate auguries the knowledge of an expert augur is usually sought. If the undertaking involves the efforts of the whole community, as, for example, house-building, responsibility for seeking omens generally falls on the tuai burong , or community augur. The latter is a man generally recognized for his experience and skill as an augur. In practice, beburong ordinarily precedes a great many lesser occasions, aside from the major ones mentioned, and responsibility for taking auguries normally rests with tuai burong or with the person who leads the undertaking. Because of the importance of augury, any man traditionally aspiring to leadership within the community, as a longhouse headman or senior family head, or within the wider region, as a war chief, migrational leader, or the head of a trading venture, was expected to possess a proficient knowledge of augury. The position of the tuai burong was traditionally one of considerable influence in Iban society and a knowledge of practical augury was an important requirement of leadership more generally.’ [3] Shamans officiate at communal rituals: ’A month or two after the opening of the ulit mourning period, the deceased’s family will now sever the bonds of affection between the deceased and the members of his or her family remaining in this world in a final rite of farewell. To accomplish this a manang , or shaman, is invited by the bereaved family to recite the incantations of the besarara bunga ceremony, meaning, literally, “the severing of the flowers”.’ [4] Augurs are not full-time specialists, but farmers like their co-villagers: ’The office of tuai burong is not inherited, although there is no reason why a son should not inherit from his father the same propensity, skill, and good fortune which would enable him to qualify. The essential qualification is success, success in rice farming. Consequently, when the community seeks a new tuai burong to lead the community, it is customary to seek among those who are regularly successful ( ni orang ti sebak bulih dia nanya ). When a tuai burong has been provisionally selected by the community as a whole, it is expected that his appointement will be confirmed to him in a dream. Should the spirits fail to give their approval in this way, the provisional tuai burong does not qualify to take office and it becomes necessary to consider an alternative candidate.’ [5] The same is true for shamans: ’The manang , as someone capable of intercourse with the spirit world may be a person of some power in the locality where he operates. Usually his influence is confined to a limited area, though the reputation of certain exceptional manang may extend more widely. But although known for his achievements when effective, the manang is not otherwise a man of consequence or status in the community. Nor did I come across an instance of a manang who was also an augur ( tuai burong ) or headman ( tuai rumah ). On the contrary, the expression ‘to be like a manang’ ( baka manang ) is derogatory since it implies that a man grows insufficient rice for his bilek. [...] In the terms of normal Iban values, the manang is not a success. Success is measured largely in plentiful harvests, and the manang , who has frequently to be absent from his farm, is rarely a successful farmer, although his own farm-work may be supplemented by the labour of others given in lieu of payment for his services. Since a good name among men is also associated with physical prowess and skill in felling, hunting, and on expeditions, the manang is seldom a man of standing. The majority of manang suffer or have suffered from a physical handicap of which blindness or poor sight is by far the commonest, and a characteristic associated with the manang . While the manang may not enjoy the prestige of a respected position in Iban society, he is nevertheless likely to be widely known and feared by many. This is partly because the Iban acknowledge their need for a manang in certain circumstances, and partly because a human being at times so intimately associated with the spirits carries some of the attributes of spirit power or has the aura of it.’ [6]

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[2]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, xxip

[3]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, xxxviiip

[4]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 38

[5]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 60

[6]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 142p


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Full-time specialists During the colonial period, wage labour was mostly temporary and practiced during the seasonal labour migrations of Iban men: ’In the present day, these bejalai migrations have involved young Iban males (aged 15 to 34 in general) in the petroleum and natural gas industries of Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and New Guinea, in the military forces of Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah and Malaya, and in timber industries throughout the archipelago. Iban working in the construction industries have been of great importance in the national development efforts of Brunei. All of these activities have permitted the Iban to continue ladang cultivation at their homes, while supplementing family income through outside employment.’ [1] According to some sources, the White Rajahs employed Iban in their armed forces: ’Sir Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke (b. June 3, 1829, Berrow, Somerset, Eng.-d. May 17, 1917, Cirencester, Gloucestershire), who adopted the surname Brooke, became the second raja. The government of Charles Brooke has been described as a benevolent autocracy. Charles himself had spent much of his life among the Iban people of Sarawak, knew their language, and respected their beliefs and customs. He made extensive use of down-river Malay chiefs as administrators, and encouraged selective immigration of Chinese agriculturalists, while the dominant indigenous group, the Ibans, were employed in military service. In general, social and economic changes were limited in impact, shielding the inhabitants from both the benefits and the hardships of Western-style development.’ [2] There was no armed corps organized for the Iban specifically, and according to the information provided above, most Iban fighters were not compensated on a regular basis. Military service was therefore probably of a non-permanent nature and functioned within the Iban system of seasonal labour migration. Some Iban may have joined the civil and military administration early on, but expert feedback is needed on the matter.

[1]: Austin, Robert Frederic 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 18

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

The White Rajahs built formal government buildings for their growing administrative body (see above): ’The main government buildings include the Astana (“Palace”; 1870) and Supreme Court (1874).’ [1] Specialized government buildings were absent from Iban villages, which were residential only. We have assumed that Iban had little to no access to these government buildings. We have therefore chosen to code the variable ’absent’.

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/place/Kuching


Merit Promotion:
absent

The White Rajahs themselves have been characterized as ’benevolent autocrats’ and were accordingly not formally examined or promoted as such: ’Sir Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke (b. June 3, 1829, Berrow, Somerset, Eng.-d. May 17, 1917, Cirencester, Gloucestershire), who adopted the surname Brooke, became the second raja. The government of Charles Brooke has been described as a benevolent autocracy. Charles himself had spent much of his life among the Iban people of Sarawak, knew their language, and respected their beliefs and customs. He made extensive use of down-river Malay chiefs as administrators, and encouraged selective immigration of Chinese agriculturalists, while the dominant indigenous group, the Ibans, were employed in military service. In general, social and economic changes were limited in impact, shielding the inhabitants from both the benefits and the hardships of Western-style development.’ [1] But the administrators employed in their developing bureaucracy probably were: ’Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke (b. Sept. 26, 1874, London-d. May 9, 1963, London) was the third and last “white raja” (1917-46). He joined the Sarawak administration in 1897. After World War I, a boom in rubber and oil drew Sarawak further into the world economy, and for that and other reasons the state embarked on gradual modernization of its institutions. Public services were developed, a Sarawak penal code modelled on that of British India was introduced in 1924, and there was some extension of educational opportunity.’ [1] The regional-level positions introduced for the Iban specifically were subject to appointment or election, not examination or formal promotion based on merit: ’The appointment to Penghulu is salaried. Before the Japanese occupation it was made by the government for life; Penghulus are now appointed for a limited period (of five years) on the basis of a local election. Although the office is not hereditary, it is not uncommon for the Penghulu to be succeeded by his son or other relative. This is especially true when a Penghulu has been conspicuously successful in office. Since profound knowledge of customary law and precedent, respected judgement, and wide acquaintance with the area administered are prerequisites, the son, son-in-law, or other close relative of a retiring Penghulu is considered more likely to possess these than any other person. The tendency is, therefore, to look first for suitable candidates among the Penghulu’s immediate relatives, and only if these are found wanting, to seek elsewhere. Where a particular Penghulu has lost public respect, a rival leader for the area may evolve, and he naturally becomes a strong candidate for the succession.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[2]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 23


Full Time Bureaucrat:
absent

Full-time specialists The village headmen and war-leaders were not bureaucrats, as there was little formalization on the village level. But the White Rajahs established an administrative structure which was superimposed on the local-level system of the Iban: ’Throughout the twenties, the following administrative innovations were introduced: the establishment of a formal Secretariat under the chief secretary in Kuching in 1923; the creation of a legal department in 1928, and between 1924 and 1926, municipal administration was established in Kuching and Sibu. This trend towards establishing and expanding the administrative bodies of Vyner Brooke’s rule continued until 1929, when the effects of the world depression brought about a decline in revenue, and necessitated some retrenchment (ibid, p. 335).’ [1] Initially, Iban males were excluded from the newly established administration: ’As the Brooke’s administrative positions were not opened to Iban then, these men on the whole had to be content with becoming medical assistants or policemen, while the more adventurous ones left for Singapore and Malaya to join government services. After the war, while most groups in the country were recovering from the impact of the Japanese occupation, Paku Iban were in a better position to take advantage of the rubber boom of the mid 1940’s and early 1950’s.’ [2] Government officials and codes nevertheless sought to regulate Iban affairs, even though villages remained relatively autonomous in most matters: ’In ancient times before a large gawai was celebrated, such as the Gawai Burong and Gawai Antu, tubai fishing was carried out by the sponsoring longhouse and the catch salted and smoked in order to provide provisions for the feast. Today this method of fishing is regulated by the government and those who wish to engage in tubai fishing are expected to obtain prior permission from the local District Officer, although not all do so and individual violations are relatively frequent, and are highly destructive especially when insecticides or chemical poisons are used to kill fish, rather than the traditional tubai.’ [3] In general, though, the Brooke Raj administration sought to shield their Iban subjects from the adverse effects of ’modernization’: ’Only an unusually strong and far sighted ruler would have seen any virtue in such a suggestion in the pre-war years. If there were some administrators who recognized the need for change, and whose efforts initiated the limited new programs already described after 1935, there was in general little sense of urgency abroad in the land. The Rajah might talk of eventual independence in introducing the new constitution, but self-government was not yet an idea which many people took seriously. There were some Ibans who were already anxious for more education, but the majority were still living in a world of wholly local, traditional concerns. Because it was a state of smallholders, and owing partly to the oil field at Miri, Sarawak had weathered the world depression with only minor hardships and dislocations. In 1941 it was a comparatively comfortable, profoundly isolated corner of colonial Southeast Asia. A weekly steamer provided the only connection between Kuching and Singapore, and when it sailed up the Sarawak River, a cannon shot from the damp-stained parapets of the old fort boomed out to signal the great event. To most Europeans and Asians alike, the great centers of trade, learning and politics all seemed very far away. It was altogether easy for a Government to remain convinced that modernization was remote and irrelevant.’ [4] Iban ’government chiefs’ were appointed regional leaders rather than full-time bureaucrats. Some Iban may have joined the civil and military administration early on, but expert feedback is needed on the matter.

[1]: Kedit, Peter M. (Peter Mulok) 1980. “Modernization Among The Iban Of Sarawak”, 61

[2]: Kedit, Peter M. (Peter Mulok) 1980. “Modernization Among The Iban Of Sarawak”, 96

[3]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 23

[4]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell. 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941", 577


Examination System:
absent

The White Rajahs themselves have been characterized as ’benevolent autocrats’ and were accordingly not formally examined as such: ’Sir Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke (b. June 3, 1829, Berrow, Somerset, Eng.-d. May 17, 1917, Cirencester, Gloucestershire), who adopted the surname Brooke, became the second raja. The government of Charles Brooke has been described as a benevolent autocracy. Charles himself had spent much of his life among the Iban people of Sarawak, knew their language, and respected their beliefs and customs. He made extensive use of down-river Malay chiefs as administrators, and encouraged selective immigration of Chinese agriculturalists, while the dominant indigenous group, the Ibans, were employed in military service. In general, social and economic changes were limited in impact, shielding the inhabitants from both the benefits and the hardships of Western-style development.’ [1] But the administrators employed in their developing bureaucracy probably were: ’Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke (b. Sept. 26, 1874, London-d. May 9, 1963, London) was the third and last “white raja” (1917-46). He joined the Sarawak administration in 1897. After World War I, a boom in rubber and oil drew Sarawak further into the world economy, and for that and other reasons the state embarked on gradual modernization of its institutions. Public services were developed, a Sarawak penal code modelled on that of British India was introduced in 1924, and there was some extension of educational opportunity.’ [1] The regional-level positions introduced for the Iban specifically were subject to appointment or election, not examination: ’The appointment to Penghulu is salaried. Before the Japanese occupation it was made by the government for life; Penghulus are now appointed for a limited period (of five years) on the basis of a local election. Although the office is not hereditary, it is not uncommon for the Penghulu to be succeeded by his son or other relative. This is especially true when a Penghulu has been conspicuously successful in office. Since profound knowledge of customary law and precedent, respected judgement, and wide acquaintance with the area administered are prerequisites, the son, son-in-law, or other close relative of a retiring Penghulu is considered more likely to possess these than any other person. The tendency is, therefore, to look first for suitable candidates among the Penghulu’s immediate relatives, and only if these are found wanting, to seek elsewhere. Where a particular Penghulu has lost public respect, a rival leader for the area may evolve, and he naturally becomes a strong candidate for the succession.’ [2]

[1]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[2]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 23


Law
Professional Lawyer:
absent

Professional lawyers are not involved in village disputes: ’However, if a case cannot be settled informally, the tuai rumah will then call a bechara . A time is set and the two parties are notified, witnesses and members of every family in the community are informed, and, if necessary, messengers are dispatched to call people back from their farms. On the appointed evening, after the last meal of the day has been finished, the tuai rumah spreads mats on his section of the gallery ( ruai ). As people gather, the principal disputants are called forward and made to sit facing each other before the tuai rumah and senior family heads. The tuai rumah then calls upon the disputants to present their accounts, beginning first with the plaintiff. After each party has spoken, the testimony of witnesses ( saksi ) is given and discussion is open to questions. Finally, after each side has stated its case, the hearing is opened to a general discussion which continues until the tuai rumah is satisfied that the issues involved in the dispute are clear and that each party has had an opportunity to air its case fully. He will then call upon several of the elders present to express their opinions. In stating their views, the elders, who are recognized for their knowledge of adat , are expected to cite precedent and draw parallels with previous judgments made in similar cases by former headmen and regional leaders.’ [1] But the Brooke administration established colonial courts on district/polity level: ’By 1900, Brooke control of Sarawak was fairly well established. The government was gradually extending its efforts into such fields as agricultural research. As it established a system of courts and law, effort was made, whenever possible, to codify and preserve local customary law ( adat ). From this time on, the mainstream of Iban migration was much less violent, despite cultural ideals, and as we will see, much slower. However, government regulations notwithstanding, the migrations did not cease.’ [2] Iban communities occasionally made use of the colonial system of courts seeking verdicts in translocal matters: ’The Chinese-Iban relationship was not entirely harmonious. The Chinese sometimes cheated their customers by using rigged scales to weigh jungle produce, but the Ibans retaliated by mixing earth and other trash into the gutta, and later they learned to practice similar tricks with cultivated rubber as well. The early outstation Chinese were often rough and roistering, the Ibans were hot tempered, and communal quarrels inevitably occurred. Ibans sometimes protested in the Simanggang court when rowdy shopkeepers pinched the exposed bosoms of their women. After one such incident the magistrate observed, “More than one complaint has been made by Dayaks of Chinamen behaving thus, and it is disgraceful that a woman cannot walk in the bazaar without being assaulted in an indecent manner by Chinamen.”’ [3] It seems unlikely that Iban plaintiffs had access to professional lawyers in those cases.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 6

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 16

[3]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 490


Judge:
absent
1841 CE 1924 CE

SCCS variable 89 ’Judiciary’ is coded as ’absent’. From the point of view of Iban adat, a longhouse community functions as a judicial unit: ’Although each of its component families is largely autonomous, the longhouse as a whole also functions as an important legal unit. In former times, every longhouse was, as we have noted, a politically sovereign community. Even now, the longhouse headman is looked upon as the chief guardian of community adat . He and other longhouse elders are expected to be well-versed in adat and to make known to their followers what the rules of adat require of them. Through informal meetings and judicial hearings they are also expected to enforce compliance with these rules and, following their stipulations, resolve disputes and redress compliants that arise within the community. In addition to this the longhouse as a whole is thought to possess a collective ritual status with regard to the spiritual world (Richards 1963:1-2).’ [1] Village headmen double as judges in local matters: ’When the Tuai Rumah learns that a serious offence, such as adultery, has been committed, he must sacrifice a chicken at once. The significance of this sacrifice is that it calls public attention to the offence and indicates that it is now under formal juridical review, and that the parties involved are no longer permitted to resort to private vengeance or self-help. He must act at once, as any delay might result in bloodshed, in which case the Tuai Rumah himself is liable to be fined. Traditionally an injured husband or wife had the right to retaliate in the case of adultery provided the adulterous couple were found in flogrante delicto and the retaliation was carried out at once.’ [2] But the Brooke administration established formal courts on district/polity level: ’By 1900, Brooke control of Sarawak was fairly well established. The government was gradually extending its efforts into such fields as agricultural research. As it established a system of courts and law, effort was made, whenever possible, to codify and preserve local customary law ( adat ). From this time on, the mainstream of Iban migration was much less violent, despite cultural ideals, and as we will see, much slower. However, government regulations notwithstanding, the migrations did not cease.’ [3] We have assumed that the above-mentioned penal code was applied to Iban offenders as well. We have selected the same provisional date of transition.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, xxi

[2]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 4

[3]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 16

Judge:
present
1924 CE 1987 CE

SCCS variable 89 ’Judiciary’ is coded as ’absent’. From the point of view of Iban adat, a longhouse community functions as a judicial unit: ’Although each of its component families is largely autonomous, the longhouse as a whole also functions as an important legal unit. In former times, every longhouse was, as we have noted, a politically sovereign community. Even now, the longhouse headman is looked upon as the chief guardian of community adat . He and other longhouse elders are expected to be well-versed in adat and to make known to their followers what the rules of adat require of them. Through informal meetings and judicial hearings they are also expected to enforce compliance with these rules and, following their stipulations, resolve disputes and redress compliants that arise within the community. In addition to this the longhouse as a whole is thought to possess a collective ritual status with regard to the spiritual world (Richards 1963:1-2).’ [1] Village headmen double as judges in local matters: ’When the Tuai Rumah learns that a serious offence, such as adultery, has been committed, he must sacrifice a chicken at once. The significance of this sacrifice is that it calls public attention to the offence and indicates that it is now under formal juridical review, and that the parties involved are no longer permitted to resort to private vengeance or self-help. He must act at once, as any delay might result in bloodshed, in which case the Tuai Rumah himself is liable to be fined. Traditionally an injured husband or wife had the right to retaliate in the case of adultery provided the adulterous couple were found in flogrante delicto and the retaliation was carried out at once.’ [2] But the Brooke administration established formal courts on district/polity level: ’By 1900, Brooke control of Sarawak was fairly well established. The government was gradually extending its efforts into such fields as agricultural research. As it established a system of courts and law, effort was made, whenever possible, to codify and preserve local customary law ( adat ). From this time on, the mainstream of Iban migration was much less violent, despite cultural ideals, and as we will see, much slower. However, government regulations notwithstanding, the migrations did not cease.’ [3] We have assumed that the above-mentioned penal code was applied to Iban offenders as well. We have selected the same provisional date of transition.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, xxi

[2]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 4

[3]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 16


Formal Legal Code:
absent
1841 CE 1924 CE

Initially, Iban customary law was not formalized: ’The legal rights and duties of every Iban is defined by the adat , customary law. Among the laws affecting women are courtship, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and fines imposed in cases of infraction of the law. The fines are payed in kati , the value of which is based on brass or bronze, or in money; one kati equals one dollar.’ [1] The White Rajah administration introduced a formal penal code: ’Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke (b. Sept. 26, 1874, London-d. May 9, 1963, London) was the third and last “white raja” (1917-46). He joined the Sarawak administration in 1897. After World War I, a boom in rubber and oil drew Sarawak further into the world economy, and for that and other reasons the state embarked on gradual modernization of its institutions. Public services were developed, a Sarawak penal code modelled on that of British India was introduced in 1924, and there was some extension of educational opportunity.’ [2] During the colonial period and early independence, Iban law was gradually standardized: ’The Iban have lived for generations in widely separated river valleys, and during their migrations they have come into close contact with other peoples. It is, therefore, to be expected that Iban religion--their agricultural rituals and ordering of society--might vary from district to district. Some differences certainly exist, but those who know the Iban well are constantly impressed by the homogeneous quality of their culture. Knowing that the social order and customary law are rooted in Iban religion, A. J.N. Richards, at that time Resident of the Second Division, decided in 1961 to convene in Simanggang a meeting of traditional and religious leaders to discuss the standardization of Second Division (Iban) law, the formal core of the Iban way of life. The meeting, at which I was present, was attended by thirty-five Iban gathered from all over the Division: apart from a few manang ( shaman /healers) (see below, pp. 59-64; also 142 seq.), these were all either recognized community leaders ( penghulu and tuai rumah )--hence also tuai burong in many cases, religious incantation experts ( lemambang ), or, as is not unusual, persons combining more than one office.’ [3] We have assumed that the penal code was applied to Iban offenders as well.

[1]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia", 90

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[3]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 55p

Formal Legal Code:
present
1924 CE 1987 CE

Initially, Iban customary law was not formalized: ’The legal rights and duties of every Iban is defined by the adat , customary law. Among the laws affecting women are courtship, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and fines imposed in cases of infraction of the law. The fines are payed in kati , the value of which is based on brass or bronze, or in money; one kati equals one dollar.’ [1] The White Rajah administration introduced a formal penal code: ’Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke (b. Sept. 26, 1874, London-d. May 9, 1963, London) was the third and last “white raja” (1917-46). He joined the Sarawak administration in 1897. After World War I, a boom in rubber and oil drew Sarawak further into the world economy, and for that and other reasons the state embarked on gradual modernization of its institutions. Public services were developed, a Sarawak penal code modelled on that of British India was introduced in 1924, and there was some extension of educational opportunity.’ [2] During the colonial period and early independence, Iban law was gradually standardized: ’The Iban have lived for generations in widely separated river valleys, and during their migrations they have come into close contact with other peoples. It is, therefore, to be expected that Iban religion--their agricultural rituals and ordering of society--might vary from district to district. Some differences certainly exist, but those who know the Iban well are constantly impressed by the homogeneous quality of their culture. Knowing that the social order and customary law are rooted in Iban religion, A. J.N. Richards, at that time Resident of the Second Division, decided in 1961 to convene in Simanggang a meeting of traditional and religious leaders to discuss the standardization of Second Division (Iban) law, the formal core of the Iban way of life. The meeting, at which I was present, was attended by thirty-five Iban gathered from all over the Division: apart from a few manang ( shaman /healers) (see below, pp. 59-64; also 142 seq.), these were all either recognized community leaders ( penghulu and tuai rumah )--hence also tuai burong in many cases, religious incantation experts ( lemambang ), or, as is not unusual, persons combining more than one office.’ [3] We have assumed that the penal code was applied to Iban offenders as well.

[1]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia", 90

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Brooke-Raj

[3]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 55p


Court:
absent
1841 CE 1924 CE

The judicial disputes presided over by village headmen do not constitute courts in the conventional sense of the term: ’The responsibility of the headman is to look after the affairs of his anak-biak , or followers, and, as a matter of course, he is expected to know every aspect of customary adat . If a dispute is referred to the headman, he will attempt to settle it with the help of the Tuai Umai or Tuai Burong (the farm leader or augury expert, respectively), and other village members who are well versed in customary adat . The Tuai Burong is an expert in various kinds of augury as well as being well versed in the genealogies and history of his community.’ [1] But the Brooke administration established courts on district/polity level: ’By 1900, Brooke control of Sarawak was fairly well established. The government was gradually extending its efforts into such fields as agricultural research. As it established a system of courts and law, effort was made, whenever possible, to codify and preserve local customary law ( adat ). From this time on, the mainstream of Iban migration was much less violent, despite cultural ideals, and as we will see, much slower. However, government regulations notwithstanding, the migrations did not cease.’ [2] Iban communities occasionally made use of the colonial system of courts seeking verdicts in translocal matters: ’The Chinese-Iban relationship was not entirely harmonious. The Chinese sometimes cheated their customers by using rigged scales to weigh jungle produce, but the Ibans retaliated by mixing earth and other trash into the gutta, and later they learned to practice similar tricks with cultivated rubber as well. The early outstation Chinese were often rough and roistering, the Ibans were hot tempered, and communal quarrels inevitably occurred. Ibans sometimes protested in the Simanggang court when rowdy shopkeepers pinched the exposed bosoms of their women. After one such incident the magistrate observed, “More than one complaint has been made by Dayaks of Chinamen behaving thus, and it is disgraceful that a woman cannot walk in the bazaar without being assaulted in an indecent manner by Chinamen.”’ [3] We have assumed the same provisional date of transition as above.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 3

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 16

[3]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 490

Court:
present
1924 CE 1987 CE

The judicial disputes presided over by village headmen do not constitute courts in the conventional sense of the term: ’The responsibility of the headman is to look after the affairs of his anak-biak , or followers, and, as a matter of course, he is expected to know every aspect of customary adat . If a dispute is referred to the headman, he will attempt to settle it with the help of the Tuai Umai or Tuai Burong (the farm leader or augury expert, respectively), and other village members who are well versed in customary adat . The Tuai Burong is an expert in various kinds of augury as well as being well versed in the genealogies and history of his community.’ [1] But the Brooke administration established courts on district/polity level: ’By 1900, Brooke control of Sarawak was fairly well established. The government was gradually extending its efforts into such fields as agricultural research. As it established a system of courts and law, effort was made, whenever possible, to codify and preserve local customary law ( adat ). From this time on, the mainstream of Iban migration was much less violent, despite cultural ideals, and as we will see, much slower. However, government regulations notwithstanding, the migrations did not cease.’ [2] Iban communities occasionally made use of the colonial system of courts seeking verdicts in translocal matters: ’The Chinese-Iban relationship was not entirely harmonious. The Chinese sometimes cheated their customers by using rigged scales to weigh jungle produce, but the Ibans retaliated by mixing earth and other trash into the gutta, and later they learned to practice similar tricks with cultivated rubber as well. The early outstation Chinese were often rough and roistering, the Ibans were hot tempered, and communal quarrels inevitably occurred. Ibans sometimes protested in the Simanggang court when rowdy shopkeepers pinched the exposed bosoms of their women. After one such incident the magistrate observed, “More than one complaint has been made by Dayaks of Chinamen behaving thus, and it is disgraceful that a woman cannot walk in the bazaar without being assaulted in an indecent manner by Chinamen.”’ [3] We have assumed the same provisional date of transition as above.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 3

[2]: Austin, Robert Frederi. 1978. “Iban Migration: Patterns Of Mobility And Employment In The 20Th Century”, 16

[3]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 490


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Iban farmers traded cash crops at local markets and trading centres: ’Although the price of rubber has slumped, some Iban are still tapping their trees and selling them unsmoked at twenty eight cents per kati in the up river areas, and forty to forty five cents in the bazaar. According to one informer it is not worth the trouble to work the family rubber trees, since the cost of processing the rubber comes to about the same as the price (for example, the cost for diluted acid for coagulating rubber latex is $1.50 per bottle). Most Iban have small holdings of rubber, the usual size is between 200-300 trees per family. The government assistance is by way of providing planting schemes (called RPS or Rubber Planting Schemes) to replant old trees with high yielding rubber. Under this scheme in 1971, over 300 acreas of rubber were to be replanted (ARLAD 1971). The Iban’s gardens include both ‘RPS’ and old ones. The total district rubber sheet production for 1970 was 10,000 pikuls . The rubber is bought by Chinese retailers in Engkilili and Lubuk Antu bazaars who then smoke the sheets and transport them to Kuching for shipment overseas. Iban in the district sell only unsmoked rubber (ARLAD 1970).’ [1] Trade relations were frequently channelled through non-tribal middlemen: ’Chinese and Iban economic relations characteristically have been of a patron-client nature. In early trading contacts, the Chinese were dependent upon Ibans and other indigenes for the supply of jungle produce on which their livelihood was based. With the establishment of trading centers such as the Sibu pasar, exchange tended to become fixed between the Iban client and his Chinese patron ( towkay ), rather than an Iban dealing with a number of different businessmen. The patron-client relationship has proved to be of mutual advantage to both parties. In time of need ( maya suntok ), the Iban can obtain credit or even a cash advance from his towkay. When he has marketable goods, he is assured of an outlet through the trader. When he comes to the pasar on business, because of an illness, or just to see the town ( ngalu diri’ ) he can usually find lodging over or behind his towkay’s shophouse. From the towkay’s perspective, he has an assurance of produce, as well as first choice on anything the client brings to market. Whereas the client usually has but one towkay , the patron has a number of clients, all of whom are bound to him by credit relations. These relations are built upon trust and friendship which is honored in a majority of cases.’ [2] Some Iban leaders also formally owned bazaar shops: ’By 1900 it was not uncommon for Third Division Iban leaders to own bazaar shophouses. Since the Ibans never took part in the operation of the business, which remained entirely in the hands of the Chinese, “owning” a shop in this manner was really no more than a form of loan, with rental substituted for interest and the shophouse serving as security. In the Second Division, where the Ibans did not enjoy such close proximity to an enormous hinterland rich in jungle produce, there is less evidence of cash wealth on such a scale at so early a period. But with the advent of cultivated rubber, the Saribas Ibans in particular caught up with and passed their migrated brethren in the Rejang. In the boom years during and following World War I, they too began to invest in Chinese shops, until nearly half the shops in Betong Bazaar, and more than half of those in some smaller outstations such as Spaoh on the Paku, were Iban owned. This trend, which was always restricted to the Saribas, has not continued since World War II, but in 1966 more than twenty of the sixty-six shophouses in Betong were still wholly or partially owned by Ibans.’ [3]

[1]: Kedit, Peter M. (Peter Mulok) 1980. “Modernization Among The Iban Of Sarawak”, 86

[2]: Sutlive, Vinson H. 1973. “From Longhouse To Pasar: Urbanization In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 126

[3]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 497



Food Storage Site:
absent

According to SCCS variable 20 ’Food Storage’ ’Individual households’, not ’Communal facilities’, ’Political agent controlled repositories’, or ’Economic agent controlled repositories’ were present. Food storage was household-based: ’Beyond the inner wall is the family apartment (BILEK), where the family cooks and eats its meals, stores its heirlooms, and sleeps. Above the BILEK and extending halfway over the RUAI is a loft (SADAU) where the family’s rice is stored in a large bark bin and where unmarried girls sleep.’ [1]

[1]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban



Transport Infrastructure

According to SCCS variable 14 ’Routes of Land Transport’ only ’unimproved trails’ were used for land transport, not roads.





Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System
Written Record:
absent
1841 CE 1921 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15

Written Record:
present
1922 CE 1987 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15


Script:
absent
1841 CE 1921 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15

Script:
present
1922 CE 1987 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
absent
1841 CE 1921 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15

Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present
1922 CE 1987 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [2] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [3] These figures are entirely contradictory. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is coherent with the establishment of mission schools, but expert feedback is absolutely essential on this matter. Regional variation may explain the difference, but this is in need of confirmation.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[3]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15


Nonwritten Record:
present

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ The Iban transmitted song cycles about deities and other mythical figures: ’To the Iban mind, the deities are the messengers between the principal god of creation, Bunsu Petara , and man and are similar in power to the prophets of the proselytizing religions of Islam and Christianity. In folklore and the song cycles deities are remembered and celebrated by the Iban. Each deity taught the people the way to worship God ( Bunsu Petara ) with offerings in various festivals and smaller ceremonies [...]’ [1] Oral histories were present in the form of genealogies: ’From what has already been said it will be clear that the contents of this study have been drawn from many different types of oral sources and then organised along lines that are quite alien to any traditional Iban form. The author has gathered much simply by talking to informants, but he has relied equally upon his knowledge of various specific forms of Iban oral literature. These include tusut genealogies as well as a wide range of song and story types.’ [2]

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 40

[2]: Sandin, Benedict 1967. “Sea Dayaks Of Borneo: Before White Rajah Rule”, xvi


Mnemonic Device:
present

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Ritual specialists used symbols marked out on wooden boards describing past spirit journeys: ’The boards are marked with symbols representing stages, in particular persons and places, encountered or passed in the course of the pengap spirit journey. The papan turai ‘characters’ are personal to the extent that the individual selects an ideograph which will remind him or her of a particular ‘verse’ or stage in the journey through the spirit world. ‘The way people write is not the same; each one does it his own way’ ( tulis orang enda sabaka; siko ngaga ka diri ). The signs may or may not be understood by another lemambang : for example, a Melugu, Dor, lemambang was able to ‘read’ nearly half the signs on a Lemanak board, but his understanding of the characters was partly derived from his knowledge of the stages of the journey. It is not certain whether the use of ‘standard’ characters should be attributed primarily to common patterns of Iban thought and analogy or the direct influence of the lemambang who instructs the novices (thus channelling traditional ideographs) or a combination of the two. But it is certain that similar symbols are found on boards in widely separated areas and are immediately intelligible.’ [1]

[1]: Jensen, Erik 1974. “Iban And Their Religion”, 67


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’


Sacred Text:
absent
1841 CE 1921 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). We chosen 1921 as a potential date of transition, despite the complicating factors (see above). The same general qualification applied to the below variables as well. All of this is provisional.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3

Sacred Text:
present
1922 CE 1987 CE

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’ Christian missionaries introduced Latinized characters: ’The Malays before their conversion to Mahomedanism may be presumed to have had no letters of their own. What they have now are made up out of the Arabic alphabet. To suit the tone of their language the letters are named accordingly. With reference to the Sea Dyaks, since the gospel of Christ has been preached to them, letters of the Roman character are used and pronounced accordingly to suit the tones of their pronunciation.’ [1] The first true mission schools were established in the 1920s (see above). We chosen 1921 as a potential date of transition, despite the complicating factors (see above). The same general qualification applied to the below variables as well. All of this is provisional.

[1]: Howell, William 1908-1910. “Sea Dyak”, 3


Religious Literature:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’


Practical Literature:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’


Philosophy:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’



History:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’


Fiction:
absent

SCCS variable 149 ’Writing and Records’ lists no mnemonic devices or nonwritten records or ’True writing, no writing’


Calendar:
absent
1841 CE 1921 CE

In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [1] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [2] On the other hand, mission schools were established in the 1920s already. Regional variation may explain the difference. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is congruent with the establishment of schooling in the area. This is open to re-evaluation, and expert feedback is absolutely essential on the matter.

[1]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[2]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15

Calendar:
present
1922 CE 1987 CE

In the 1950s, Freeman claimed no written calendars for the ’pre-literate’ Iban: ’The Iban still attach great importance to their stellar lore. Tungku, a tuai rumah of the Mujong headwaters, put it in these words:“If there were no stars we Iban would be lost, not knowing when to plant; we live by the stars.”(“ Enti nadai bintang tesat ati kami Iban, enda nemu maia nugal; kami idup ari bintang. ”) It must not be thought however that there is any dogma that rituals, etc. should be held on the exact dates given. The Iban are a pre-literate people without a calendar, and the movements of the Pleiades, Orion and Sirius are taken as no more than general indications of the time when the major operations of felling and planting should be embarked upon.’ [1] Komanyi claims written calendars following the European pattern and literacy in the 1970s: ’Since most people now have western calendars, they know during which month the sowing, weeding or harvesting is to be done. Their “new year” begins after the harvest is completed, which may be some time in May or June. However, June 1st is “Dayak Day,” proclaimed by the government as the official Dayak New Year’s Day.’ [2] On the other hand, mission schools were established in the 1920s already. Regional variation may explain the difference. We have chosen to go with the 1921 figure as it is congruent with the establishment of schooling in the area. This is open to re-evaluation, and expert feedback is absolutely essential on the matter.

[1]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 40

[2]: Komanyi, Margit Ilona 1973. “Real And Ideal Participation In Decision-Making Of Iban Women: A Study Of A Longhouse Community In Sarawak, East Malaysia”, 15


Information / Money

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’.


Precious Metal:
absent

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’.


Paper Currency:
present

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’. The trade economy was monetized during the Brooke Raj and colonial periods, with the associated introduction of cash crops: ‘Another factor that appears to have been favourably regarded by the Iban, as well as other indigenous groups, was the opportunities that trade offered in acquiring a reserve capital and various prestige items. Trade, which was part of the rationale for pacification, was concerned in Iban areas with jungle produce like rattan and wild rubber which were shipped down-river in return for a counter-stream of items like salt, steel, iron, brass wire and gongs, crockery ware and the highly valued sacred jars of Chinese origin. After this trade had reached some bulk in the 1870’s and until the introduction of cultivated rubber it provided around thirty per cent of the state’s total exports. Rubber, which started to be grown in considerable quantities in the first decade of this century, became the most important of the small-holder cash-crops for the indigenous peoples. To begin with it was planted by many Iban communities in both the Second and the Third Division, but around the middle or late 1920’s non-Christian communities began cutting down their rubber trees. […] Prior to rubber, another cash-crop, coffee, had been grown with some success in the Second Division, notably amongst the Saribas Iban. The overproduction that completely upset the world market in 1897 and the drastic fall in prices, however, put an abrupt end to this endeavour.’ [1] ’With the rubber boom of 1950 this balance was completely disturbed. In September, 1950 (one year after the period we have just been discussing), Chinese traders were travelling all the rivers of the Baleh region in search of Iban rubber, and the price offered at Rumah Nyala was $1.50 per kati. Accepting an average daily output per worker of 5 katis, in September, 1950, the production of rubber had become a pursuit at least three times more profitable than the production of padi. Hulled rice ( brau ) had risen in price to about $2 per gantang. Under these conditions it is difficult to understand, if one is thinking purely in terms of immediate profit and loss, why farming was not abandoned in favour of full-time rubber production. In the Saribas District of the Second Division, indeed, there was a marked tendency in this direction. At Gansurai, a Dayak long-house on the banks of the Layar River, for example, 6 of the 19 bilek families did not grow any padi during the 1950-51 season, and were relying entirely on imported rice which they were able to purchase with money obtained from the sale of rubber. This was no great difficulty. One of the bilek families of Gansurai, employed 11 Malays on a share-cropping basis, and in April, 1951, with rubber at $1.15 per kati, the monthly income of this family was about $1,400.’ [2]

[1]: Wagner, Ulla 1972. “Colonialism And Iban Warfare”, 41

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 106


Indigenous Coin:
absent

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’.


Foreign Coin:
present

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’. The trade economy was monetized during the Brooke Raj and colonial periods, with the associated introduction of cash crops: ‘Another factor that appears to have been favourably regarded by the Iban, as well as other indigenous groups, was the opportunities that trade offered in acquiring a reserve capital and various prestige items. Trade, which was part of the rationale for pacification, was concerned in Iban areas with jungle produce like rattan and wild rubber which were shipped down-river in return for a counter-stream of items like salt, steel, iron, brass wire and gongs, crockery ware and the highly valued sacred jars of Chinese origin. After this trade had reached some bulk in the 1870’s and until the introduction of cultivated rubber it provided around thirty per cent of the state’s total exports. Rubber, which started to be grown in considerable quantities in the first decade of this century, became the most important of the small-holder cash-crops for the indigenous peoples. To begin with it was planted by many Iban communities in both the Second and the Third Division, but around the middle or late 1920’s non-Christian communities began cutting down their rubber trees. […] Prior to rubber, another cash-crop, coffee, had been grown with some success in the Second Division, notably amongst the Saribas Iban. The overproduction that completely upset the world market in 1897 and the drastic fall in prices, however, put an abrupt end to this endeavour.’ [1] ’With the rubber boom of 1950 this balance was completely disturbed. In September, 1950 (one year after the period we have just been discussing), Chinese traders were travelling all the rivers of the Baleh region in search of Iban rubber, and the price offered at Rumah Nyala was $1.50 per kati. Accepting an average daily output per worker of 5 katis, in September, 1950, the production of rubber had become a pursuit at least three times more profitable than the production of padi. Hulled rice ( brau ) had risen in price to about $2 per gantang. Under these conditions it is difficult to understand, if one is thinking purely in terms of immediate profit and loss, why farming was not abandoned in favour of full-time rubber production. In the Saribas District of the Second Division, indeed, there was a marked tendency in this direction. At Gansurai, a Dayak long-house on the banks of the Layar River, for example, 6 of the 19 bilek families did not grow any padi during the 1950-51 season, and were relying entirely on imported rice which they were able to purchase with money obtained from the sale of rubber. This was no great difficulty. One of the bilek families of Gansurai, employed 11 Malays on a share-cropping basis, and in April, 1951, with rubber at $1.15 per kati, the monthly income of this family was about $1,400.’ [2]

[1]: Wagner, Ulla 1972. “Colonialism And Iban Warfare”, 41

[2]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak”, 106


Article:
present

According to SCCS variable 17 ’Money (Media of Exchange) and Credit’, ’No media of exchange or money’ or ’Domestically used articles as media of exchange’ or ’Tokens of conventional value as media of exchange’ or ’Foreign coinage or paper coinage’, or ’Indigenous coinage or paper currency’. The trade economy was monetized during the Brooke Raj and colonial periods, with the associated introduction of cash crops: ‘Another factor that appears to have been favourably regarded by the Iban, as well as other indigenous groups, was the opportunities that trade offered in acquiring a reserve capital and various prestige items. Trade, which was part of the rationale for pacification, was concerned in Iban areas with jungle produce like rattan and wild rubber which were shipped down-river in return for a counter-stream of items like salt, steel, iron, brass wire and gongs, crockery ware and the highly valued sacred jars of Chinese origin. After this trade had reached some bulk in the 1870’s and until the introduction of cultivated rubber it provided around thirty per cent of the state’s total exports. Rubber, which started to be grown in considerable quantities in the first decade of this century, became the most important of the small-holder cash-crops for the indigenous peoples. To begin with it was planted by many Iban communities in both the Second and the Third Division, but around the middle or late 1920’s non-Christian communities began cutting down their rubber trees. […] Prior to rubber, another cash-crop, coffee, had been grown with some success in the Second Division, notably amongst the Saribas Iban. The overproduction that completely upset the world market in 1897 and the drastic fall in prices, however, put an abrupt end to this endeavour.’ [1] But articles were still used in small-scale exchanges: ’The Dayaks paid for these items with padi. One pelaga bead cost them a pasu of padi. At this time the Chinese did not yet want to buy resins or other jungle produce. They remained in their boats. Chinese traders would not risk building houses in the Saribas river for another two generations, until after the arrival of James Brooke.’ [2] ’What does an Iban family do when it finds itself in such a situation? If there is only a small deficit, a family may elect to part with one or more of its gongs (or some other kind of property) in exchange for padi . Brass gongs ( tawak, bebendai, etc.) are the principal form of property in which the Iban invest their savings. These gongs have the great advantage of being untouched by the Borneo climate and are virtually indestructible; further they have marked prestige value, and can be displayed and used on ceremonial occasions. In good years, when a surplus of padi has been gained, it is exchanged for gongs, which are then available in years of shortage. Each season, some families succeed in producing a surplus, while others find themselves with a deficit; and so, year by year in an area like the Baleh, scores of different families exchange gongs for padi, or padi for gongs. Jars ( tajau ), though to a much lesser extent, are used in the same way. Again, money--obtained from the marketing of jungle produce--is often used to purchase padi; and of recent years, cash crops--particularly rubber--have become increasingly important.’ [3]

[1]: Wagner, Ulla 1972. “Colonialism And Iban Warfare”, 41

[2]: Sandin, Benedict 1967. “Sea Dayaks Of Borneo: Before White Rajah Rule”, 64

[3]: Freeman, Derek 1955. “Iban Agriculture: A Report On The Shifting Cultivation Of Hill Rice By The Iban Of Sarawak", 104


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
absent

The sources mention postal savings schemes estabished during the White Rajah period, but no general postal service: ’In 1885 the Rajah felt it necessary to issue an Order requiring that all loans from Ibans to Chinese be registered with the Government, to protect the Ibans from defaulters. In 1902, a year when the price of gutta percha reached an alltime high, the Resident of the Third Division registered sixty such loans amounting to over $10,000. The total sum of money which the shopkeepers of Kapit owed to the still far from pacified upper Rejang Ibans at the same period was double that figure. Over the years, transactions of this kind became entirely customary, so much so that when the Third Rajah inaugurated a postal savings scheme in 1926, an official report complained of the competition encountered in bidding for Iban business: “...the temptation to Dayaks to ‘invest’ their savings with Chinese at a high rate of interest is at present too great to allow them to take the safer course of investing at 3%.”’ [1] GeneralpPostal services are a very recent introduction: ’With urban migration, and mail service making possible postal remittances, an increasing number of parents have no adult child residing in the BILEK with them.’ [2] But Gomes mentions Saribas Ibans writing and receiving letters: ’A Dyak schoolmaster, who had taught in Banting for many years, afterwards worked as the Government clerk [Page 108] at Betong in Saribas. He told me that he was struck by the number of Dyak men and women in Saribas who could write, and how they often wrote letters to their friends who were away, and received letters from them.’ [3] It is unclear from his description how these were transported. Expert feedback is needed. We are unsure as to when mail services were made available.

[1]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 496

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[3]: Gomes, Edwin H. 1911. “Seventeen Years Among The Sea Dyaks Of Borneo: A Record Of Intimate Association With The Natives Of The Bornean Jungles”, 107


General Postal Service:
absent

The sources mention postal savings schemes estabished during the White Rajah period, but no general postal service: ’In 1885 the Rajah felt it necessary to issue an Order requiring that all loans from Ibans to Chinese be registered with the Government, to protect the Ibans from defaulters. In 1902, a year when the price of gutta percha reached an alltime high, the Resident of the Third Division registered sixty such loans amounting to over $10,000. The total sum of money which the shopkeepers of Kapit owed to the still far from pacified upper Rejang Ibans at the same period was double that figure. Over the years, transactions of this kind became entirely customary, so much so that when the Third Rajah inaugurated a postal savings scheme in 1926, an official report complained of the competition encountered in bidding for Iban business: “...the temptation to Dayaks to ‘invest’ their savings with Chinese at a high rate of interest is at present too great to allow them to take the safer course of investing at 3%.”’ [1] General postal services are a very recent introduction: ’With urban migration, and mail service making possible postal remittances, an increasing number of parents have no adult child residing in the BILEK with them.’ [2] But Gomes mentions Saribas Ibans writing and receiving letters: ’A Dyak schoolmaster, who had taught in Banting for many years, afterwards worked as the Government clerk [Page 108] at Betong in Saribas. He told me that he was struck by the number of Dyak men and women in Saribas who could write, and how they often wrote letters to their friends who were away, and received letters from them.’ [3] It is unclear from his description how these were transported. Expert feedback is needed. We are unsure as to when mail services were made available.

[1]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941”, 496

[2]: Vinson H. Sutlive, Jr. and John Beierle: eHRAF Cultural Summary for the Iban

[3]: Gomes, Edwin H. 1911. “Seventeen Years Among The Sea Dyaks Of Borneo: A Record Of Intimate Association With The Natives Of The Bornean Jungles”, 107


Courier:
absent

’In ancient times, when a warleader wanted to lead his people in war, he usually sent an urgent temuku tali (“string with knots”) to call together his warriors. Attached to each string was a chicken’s feather and small piece of half-burnt wood. The meaning of these articles was that the message carried by the string must be transmitted in a great hurry and quickly relayed from one longhouse to another day and night, till it reached its final destination. Feathers are said to symbolize the swiftness of flight and the half-burnt wood, the torches to be used at night in carrying the message from one longhouse to another. The message itself was transmitted verbally. Each knot in the string signified one day and had to be untied each morning by the recipients. On the day when the last knot was untied, all the warriors who had armed themselves would arrive at the warleader’s longhouse to join the war expedition.’ [1] These messages were not transmitted by professional couriers, but by regular community members. ’The other method used by ancient warleaders to summon their warriors was to send their most trusted warrior from one longhouse to another, with a sharp spear ( sangkoh ) heavily decorated with the hair of enemies. On arrival at each fighting man’s longhouse, the bearer of the spear informed his comrades-in-arms that they were requested to join the warpath on a certain day. On receiving this message, each warrior started to arm himself with weapons such as nyabor, langgai tingang, surong bila, ilang and pedang swords; terabai (shield), sumpit (blowpipe), sangkoh, bujak, perambut and berayang spears. A day or two before the war party was due to set out, all the fighters assembled at the warleader’s longhouse, sufficiently provisioned by their wives with rice and cakes. These methods of calling people to war ended in about 1900.’ [2] The same is true for invitations sent out to other longhouse communities on the occasion of festivals.

[1]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 4

[2]: Sandin, Benedict, and Clifford Sather 1980. “Iban Adat And Augury”, 5


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
present

These various expedients--palisades, traces, traps and aeolian alarms--all contribute to the defence of a farm [1] He demanded that in return for his help, Unggang (Gerasi) should help him to fortify his own house first. A stockade was duly erected, traces of which are still visible. [2] ‘At first glance this appears to correspond to a dampa , but Freeman informs us that alangkau is a farm but or shed placed in immediate conjunction to the swidden and is a much flimsier structure, and abandoned much sooner. The risk of attack would have made it quite foolhardy to have an extensive dampasystem during the last century, especially in areas where “pacification” had not yet been undertaken. A dampa , having a much smaller number of people, would then be very vulnerable and it is possible that the furthest outlying farms were much closer to the main longhouse than is the case today, so that when the alarm was sounded to warn that an imminent attack might occur, there would have been a better chance for the people to reach the main longhouse, which could be more successfully defended. Stockades and other means of defence were probably also used by many more than the famous anti-government leader Rentap when he made his stand on the summit of Sadok Mountain.’ [3]

[1]: Freeman 1955, 59

[2]: Sandin 1967, 85

[3]: Wagner, Ulla 1972. “Colonialism And Iban Warfare”, 85


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

That portion which followed the chief orang kaya of the tribe, and whose family has for many generations produced its chief, settled at Lundu, which has now become a beautiful fortified village, and from which the gallant old chief has frequently made successful expeditions against his hereditary enemies. [1] ...in June, 1857, [Charles Brooke] launched his first major expedition against the fortified longhouse of Rentap on the summit of Mount Sadok. [2]

[1]: Low 1848, 166

[2]: Pringe 1968, 177




Fortified Camp:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.




Complex Fortification:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.



Military use of Metals

The sangkoh is a long wooden shaft with a steel spear head... The blade is of steel, and is 12 inches in length. [1]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 52


The Uma Bawangs are famous for their parangs , which they make out of their own iron ore. [1] Iron being necessary in the formation of their weapons of war, they have studied, and brought to greater perfection its workmanship than others of the mechanical arts... The ‘parangs,’ or chopping-knives, and ‘pedangs,’ or swords, of which there are several denominations, spear-heads and fish spears, are the principal articles of their manufacture. [2]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 53

[2]: Low 1848, 209


Copper:
absent

(No mention of military use, only as currency: "In his quarterly report, the Resident for the Lower Rejang described the Iban’s hoarding of copper coinage." [1] )

[1]: Sutlive 1973, 377


Bronze:
present

...the Dyaks possess some small brass guns. [1] On August 7, 1844, boats from the Dido and the East India Company Steamer Phlegethon stormed Sahap’s stronghold, located a few miles below the later Second Division headquarters at Simanggang. The English forces captured fifty-six brass guns and over a ton of gunpowder. [2]

[1]: Low 1848, 167

[2]: Pringle 1968, 123


Projectiles



Self Bow:
absent

...neither bows nor arrows are known in the islands. [1]

[1]: Low 1848, 211


Javelin:
present

The slighi is a wooden lance, the point of which is hardened in the fire. It is used as a missile and is hurled at the enemy. It is usually of ironwood ( bilian ), but palmwood javelin, especially inbery is also used. They are showered upon the enemy at the commencement of an engagement before the parties are close enough to use the spear, which never, or rarely leaves the hand. [1]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 52


Handheld Firearm:
present

"To-day, 12-bore shot-guns are coming into general use (in January, 1950, 14 of the 25 bilek families of Rumah Nyala possessed shot-guns), and these greatly aid the farmer in his task." [1] The introduction of shotguns resulted in their purchase by thousands of Iban, so that it now is exceptional for a family not to have at least one shotgun. [2]

[1]: Freeman 1955, 59

[2]: Sutlive 1973, 377


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

Dana specialized in raids along the coast toward Pontianak, and was probably the leader of the 1834 attack on “Slaku” described by Earl. It was on one of his voyages into Dutch territory that he captured the one-trunnioned iron cannon which became famous during the Sadok campaign of 1861. [1] This time the Sarawak force dragged a small mortar up the mountain with them, but despite the high expectations of the friendly Ibans this weapon had little effect on Rentap’s well protected position. “Bring all your fire guns from Europe,” the rebels jeered, “we are not afraid of you.” They added injury to insult by replying effectively with a cannon of their own, probably one captured in 1853 at the time of Alan Lee’s death. [2] . It was on one of these expeditions that he captured the famous one-trunnioned iron cannon, ‘Bujang Timpang Berang’ which can still be seen in the old fort at Betong, Saribas. [3] On August 7, 1844, boats from the Dido and the East India Company Steamer Phlegethon stormed Sahap’s stronghold, located a few miles below the later Second Division headquarters at Simanggang. The English forces captured fifty-six brass guns and over a ton of gunpowder [4]

[1]: Pringle 1968, 84

[2]: Pringle 1968, 179

[3]: Sandin 1967, 76

[4]: Pringle 1968, 123




New world weapon.


Handheld weapons

On their heads they wear plaited war bonnets adorned with hornbill feathers, and at their sides they carry swords ornamented with the hair of slain enemies. [1]

[1]: Davison & Sutlive 1991, 188


The sangkoh is a long wooden shaft with a steel spear head... The spear is used at close quarters to thrust with, and is held in the right hand--the shield occupying the left. [1]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 52


Polearm:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.


No references in the literature. RA.



Animals used in warfare



Men not possessing guns patrol their farms once or more during the night armed with a long-handled, hunting spear (sangkoh) and a bush-knife (duku), and often accompanied by dogs. [1]

[1]: Freeman 1955, 59



Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
present

The war costume consists of a basket-work hat called a katapu and a skin-jacket called a gagong... These form but poor defensive armour for the body; reliance is placed upon the shield. [1]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 53


Shield:
present

For defensive purposes the Dyak has a large wooden shield about three feet long, which, with its handle, is hollowed out of a single block of wood. [1]

[1]: Gomes 1911, 78





Leather Cloth:
present

They have previously dressed themselves as for the war-path, with fine jackets of woven cloth and coats of bearskin, or leopard cat... Once the cotton has been harvested, and the pods dried in the sun (this is allegorical of the smoking of trophy heads), it is spun into thread ( ubong ). This is then woven into war-jackets, or baju. [1]

[1]: Davison & Sutlive 1991, 188-190



Helmet:
present

The katapu or helmet in general use is a round skull cap of wicker work, with a rush lining and occasionally a skin covering, surmounted by either a metal plate or two of fanciful pattern or the scaly armour of the tenggolieng. [1]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 53



Breastplate:
present

The gagong or war-jacket is a skin with a hole and slit in the neck of it to admit of the insertion of the warrior’s head, the animal’s face falling on his stomach, and its back hanging over his shoulders and reaching below the waist. [1] ...the woven jacket and waistband was an important part of the Iban warrior’s ritual paraphernalia, safeguarding him from attack whilst on the war-path. [2]

[1]: Howell 1908, 92

[2]: Davison & Sutlive 1991, 208


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
absent

No references in the literature. RA.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present

We have decided to consider war boats to be small vessels rather than military ships: It is a grand sight to see these canoes filled with dusky warriors whose naked arms and bodies are just visible beneath the awning, pulling away with a uniform and vigorous stroke... The canoes hold each from twenty to seventy men. [1] Shortly after he had this dream, Unggang built a large war boat, whose interior ( ruang ) was big enough for him to spread a large idas mat. He used this boat to lead his warriors to guard the mouth of the Saribas river to prevent the Illanuns and other pirates from entering, and to attack other strangers who came to sail in that part of the South China sea. After he had done this successfully, he led his warriors further overseas to look for trading ships... He did not like to be accompanied by other Iban boats, as his own could easily carry over 100 warriors. At this time no one dared to attack any boat commanded by Unggang. [2]

[1]: Low & Ling Roth 1893, 56

[2]: Sandin 1967, 64


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present

Finally, armed with the Brunei permission, a Sarawak expeditionary force advanced toward Mukah. It consisted of twenty-five boats belonging to the Malay traders and three small, sail-powered gunboats. [1]

[1]: Pringle, Robert Maxwell. 1968. “Ibans Of Sarawak Under Brooke Rule, 1841-1941.”, 191



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
- Nothing coded yet.