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Peace be upon you....

Welcome to Ruai Sempurai,the place for u to share anything that abeit to the rules and regulations of this site.

This page is created in November 2006,as a hobby and to meet more people in the cyber world to talk about anything,especially about art,culture and lifestyle.

Started in Sarawak,East Malaysia,on the Island of Borneo,which is called paradise,the Land of the Hornbill or in the past,the Land of the Headhunters.

Rules and regulations

1. Story, essay and picture that contains nudity is not allowed in this web.

2. Racism and disgracing others religion or believe is not allowed.

3. Always abeit to the rules and regulations of the web. 

4. Username or nick name that is provoking and touch any sensitivity is not allowed.

Once again,enjoy your stay here and happy foruming.

Robb Sempurai,

Founder/Webmaster.


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The whole of Borneo was controlled by the Malay Brunei Sultanate Empire during its golden age from the 15th to 17th centuries, after the fall of the Malacca Sultanate in Southeast Asia. However, the northern part of Borneo was later controlled by the Malay Sulu Sultanate (1473-1899) and subsequently the North Borneo Company gained control. The territories controlled by the Brunei Sultanate were treacherously taken under control by the British Brooke dynasty.

In the early 19th century, British and Dutch colonists entered into agreement to exchange trading ports under their controls; the eastern side of Borneo under the Dutch colonial empire and western side under the British. (Similarly, Malacca was given to the British in exchange for various ports in Java, and Sumatra was surrendered to the Dutch). China sent several vessels to trade in Borneo. Some of the Chinese beads and wares found their way deep into the interior of Borneo.

During the Second World War, Japanese forces gained control of Borneo (1941-45) and decimated many local populations and Malay intellectuals, including the elimination of the Malay Sultanate of Sambas in Kalimantan.Borneo was the main site of the confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia between 1962 and 1966, as well as the communist revolts to gain control of the whole area. In recent times, the Philippines claimed that the northern part of Borneo is within their territorial rights and had made several confrontational claims against Malaysia. Several other territorial claims were resolved at The Hague international courts.

Rainforest World Music Festival


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About RWMFThe Rainforest World Music Festival is a unique festival that brings together on the same stage renowned world musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo.

Its formula of afternoon informative workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, followed by evening performances on the main stage has proven to be a hit with the audience, who come from near and far.

The festival site also sets up a variety of food and drink stalls, an arts and crafts area as well as a counter for festival memorabilia, Sarawak souvenirs and CDs by the performing artists, all this contributing to a fun filled, wholesome festival experience. World Music plus a country fair atmosphere in the midst of lush greenery.

The Rainforest World Music Festival, a not-to-be-missed occasion, guarantees a smashing time in the heart of the Borneo Jungle !

 

Iban (the largest tribe in Borneo)


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Society-IBAN The Iban or Sea Dayak (Dyak) are a riverine group of rice cultivators inhabiting the interior hill country of Sarawak (Malaysia) and parts of Indonesian Borneo. They were mistakenly named Sea Dayak by the British who came into contact with them in the 1840s, at which time many were involved in coastal piracy with the Malays. The name Iban is from the Kayan language and means "immigrant." It was introduced into the literature in 1901 by Haddon and has continued to be the accepted term (Freeman 1958: 50). The Iban refer to themselves by the name of the longhouse village or river where they reside. They have no cover term for all Iban. Presently the Iban occupy the "remote jungle-covered ranges of the underdeveloped interior zone of Sarawak, and also certain of the inaccessible headwaters of the great Kapuas river in what is now Kalimantan or Indonesian Borneo" (Freeman 1959: 15). The main rivers of their occupation are the Batang Lupar, Saribas, Krian, and Rejang. Some Iban have moved to coastal and urban areas. The Iban speak a dialect of Malay (Malayan subfamily, Austronesian family) that is distinct from other Bornean languages. It does, however, contain many loan-words from other parts of Borneo, as well as some from Sanskrit. In Sarawak, the Iban population was estimated to be 330,000 in 1971 (Sutlive 1973: 77). As far back as 1947, they comprised over a third of the country's population and in some areas were the dominant ethnic group. They are principally a rural people; the cities are still mainly the preserves of the Malays and the Chinese. Freeman's population distribution map (ca. 1950) shows the Iban located along Sarawak's major rivers and their tributaries, with the densest concentrations along the Rejang in the Third Division (one of Sarawak's five major political divisions) (Freeman 1955:12). No figures are available for the Kalimantan Iban. The climate of the Iban region is wet and it is not uncommon for annual rainfall in the interior to reach 180 inches. Heavy rains, flat delta land, and swampy inner coastal regions combine to cause frequent flooding of the best agricultural land. The rainfall pattern is, however, very erratic and its variability presents great difficulties for swidden agriculturalists. Those farmers who, with government assistance, have begun to practice wet-rice cultivation may use herbicides to clear their smaller fields and are thus better insulated from climatic variations. The temperature range is approximately 72 degrees-88 degrees F., or 22.2 degrees-31.1 degrees C. Three quarters of Sarawak is still covered with primary forest, the remaining quarter with savannah and secondary growth. Soils are generally poor. Most cleared forest areas can be used only for a season or two, and then must be left fallow for 15 to 20 years. Contrary to what early observers supposed, the shifting agricultural techniques of the Iban were probably the best adaptation to this poor soil, causing the least disturbance and allowing the small cleared areas time to recuperate. The tropical forests provide the Iban with a variety of trees, leaves, fibers, and foods, which they exploit themselves and have found to be profitable exports (especially rubber and timber). Rice cultivation is the occupation of 89 percent of the Iban population (two-thirds of the country's rice cultivators). But fewer than 40 percent are self-sufficient, and most Iban must buy rice to supplement what they grow (Sutlive 1973: 201). Iban are no longer free to move their settlements after exhausting an area, but they still shift their fields every few years to allow the land to regenerate. Rice agriculture is a highly ritualized activity and is really a complete way of life, rather than just an economic pursuit. Nearly all of the religious ritual has to do with insuring the success of the crop. Along with the rice, mustard, cucumber, pumpkins, and gourds are planted in the same fields and ripen at different times. Maize, cassava, changkok, and pineapple are also grown. Fowls and pigs are kept under the houses, to be eaten on festival days. Wild pigs are hunted with dogs, but salt fish, obtained from Malay fishermen, is more popular. Fighting cocks are kept by the men for gambling. The common Iban settlement is a single longhouse composed of from 4 to 50 independent family units (an average of 14 in Baleh region) that are called bilek families. The bilek family is small, ranging from 3 to 14 members, with an average of about 5.5. It is usually composed of two or three generations, but two adult, married siblings never co-reside. Each bilek family constitutes a separate household that cooks and eats together, owns its own land, cultivates its own crops, has its own rituals, charms, taboos, and its own sacred rice. There are no large-scale corporate groups above the bilek family. The bilek family is the status-conferring group. Children are named after grandparents, thus providing continuity with ancestors and an identification with the kin group. Among the status-conscious Iban, these names provide links with their illustrious forebears. Membership in a bilek family, and hence the longhouse, may be by birth, marriage, or adoption. A family may also join a longhouse because of ties of friendship. Postmarital residence is called utrolocal, which is an equivalent concept to ambilocal residence. A couple may reside with either set of parents (or in their longhouse), but they must choose between one or the other. Uxorilocality and virilocality are equally common. Preferred marriages are within the kindred, especially with first to fifth degree cousins. Marriage within the longhouse is as common as marriage outside. The Iban are strongly monogamous, but in the early years of marriage, divorce is simple and not uncommon. Inter-ethnic marriages, though dangerous in some ways, often help to establish and maintain advantageous commercial relations. Recently, educated Iban have tended to marry later. They are looked on as valued marriage prospects, regardless of their backgrounds, because of their high earning potentials. Longhouse communities are almost always located along watercourses. Populations of these communities vary from averages of 80.5 (Baleh region) to 137 (Sibu District). The upper ranges do not often exceed 200. In Baleh, where virgin forest is plentiful, communities are composed of single longhouses located every one or two miles along the river. In the Sibu District, where the government has long since curtailed the migratory settlement pattern, clusters of longhouses within hailing distance of one another are common. Nevertheless, these clusters do not represent villages. Each longhouse has its own well-defined territory, within which each bilek family has its own hereditary lands. A longhouse has no property of its own. Each longhouse community usually has a core group of founding members, related cognatically, who occupy the center of the house. Membership in the house is usually through relations with one or more of these families. In Baleh the rate of interrelatedness was lower than in Sibu's more permanent longhouses, where interrelatedness was sometimes 100 percent (Freeman 1955: 9; Sutlive 1973: 360-361). There are two important longhouse officials. The tuah burong is an augur, who reads the omens, especially from birds, before all important events and is important events and is generally responsible for the ritual wellbeing of the longhouse. The tuah rumah is the administrator and custodian of adat, Iban customary law, and the arbiter in community conflicts. He has no political, economic, or ritual power. Usually a man of great personal prestige, it is through his knowledge of custom and his powers of persuasion that others are induced to go along with his decisions. Influence and prestige are not inherited. The Iban emphasize achievement, not descent. Although Iban society is classless, it is a very status-conscious and competitive society in which personal achievement is important for providing status and prestige in the community. The acquisition of wealth and the production of consistently good rice crops are the main criteria of success. The institution of pejalai (bejalah), in which young men travel to distant areas to gain wealth and experience, is an old and important part of Iban life. To return with valuable items is the object of the trip, and his numerous tattoos testify to a man's travels. Iban women do not travel, and their lack of contact with the outside world has made them and their craft styles more conservative. Women are not, however, of a lower status. Households heads are women as often as they are men, and women have traditionally played an equal role in public meetings (Gomes 1911: 80). While the two principal offices in the longhouse are limited to men, the rights of men and women are equal in matters of property and inheritance. Iban religion revolves around augury, omens, and rice. There are a great number of gods and spirits, with Petara, who some see as borrowed from the Hindu, at the top. Ancestor worship is important, but the assurance of a good rice crop is the principal function of the religion. Rice is believed to have a soul, and it must be treated respectfully and propitiated in order to provide a good yield. In a number of areas, Christianity has been adopted in addition to, rather than in place of, the old faith. It is viewed as another method of bringing good luck. The Iban have long been in contact with other ethnic groups. First the Chinese and Malays, and later the Europeans. While there has been some friction, especially with the Chinese over land claims, relations have been generally peaceful. The Chinese form the majority of commercial middlemen and shopkeepers in both the rural and urban areas. It is only recently that Iban have begun to run their own stores, and very few have been successful without Chinese backing. The Malays, through their membership in the army and, since 1966, through Sarawak's association with Malaysia, are powerful politically. Independence of spirit and their inability to work together have kept the Iban from gaining political power commensurate with their numbers. Inter-ethnic marriages are common and accepted, but ethnic conflicts have flared from time to time, as in the mid 1960s, when violent rioting brought armed government intervention. A brief summary of Iban culture based on sources in the file as well as on others not included here may be found in LeBar (1972: 180-184). J. D. Freeman (c.f. 1955, 1958) is the modern authority on Iban culture, and his sources cover many aspects of their life. Culture summary by Martin J. Malone Freeman, John Derek. Iban agriculture: a report on the shifting cultivation of hill rice by the Iban of Sarawak. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1955. 12, 148 p. illus., maps. Freeman, John Derek. The family sustem of the Iban of Borneo. In Jack Goody, ed. The Developmental Cycle in Domestic Groups. Cambridge, University Press, 1958: 15-52. Gomes, Edwin H. Seventeen years among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo: a record of intimate association with the natives of the Bornean jungles. With an introduction by the Reverend John Perham. London, Seeley, 1911. 343 p. illus. LeBar, Frank M., ed. and comp. Ethnic groups of Insular Southeast Asia. 2 v. New Haven, Human Relations Area Files Press, 1972: Vol. 1, pp. 180-184. Sutlive, Vinson Hutchins, Jr. From longhouse to pasar: urbanization in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Ann Arbor, University Microfilms, 1973. 4, 10, 479 l. illus., maps, tables. (University Microfilms Publications, no. 73-16,345). Dissertation (Anthropology) -- University of Pittsburgh, 1972. 7847

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