Monday, January 24, 2022

Headhunting tradition of Dayak tribes

Dayak is a term for natives of the island of Borneo. They are a tribe of people living in Kalimantan especially in Central Kalimantan. Dayak, divided into 405 sub-sub clans. Each sub-Dayak both Indonesia and Malaysia are identical. Dayak customs and culture comes from the word "Power" which means upstream, to refer to people who live in inland areas or in the interior of Borneo. In the arsenal of art and culture, Dayak has many similarities such as; saber, chopsticks, beliong, betang, cupai, renjung, empajang and others.

Warfare, including headhunting, slave capture, plunder and conquest, was practiced by Dayaks in various parts of Borneo until early part of the 20th century.

Until now there are still some Dayak tribal customs are still preserved. Dayak supernatural world in ancient times still looked strong until now. This custom is one of the cultural property owned by the Indonesian nation. A long time ago the famous Dayak with the term "ngayau" (adventuring by finding the opponent's head to become "Dengah").

Headhunting played a central role in the social organization, religion, and worldview of nearly all Dayak groups of Borneo. Headhunting among the tribe is believed to have begun when the land inhabited by the Ibans grew into over-population and confrontation was an inevitable requirement for survival.

Headhunting, derived from the word "me and ngayau". Me means action, ngayau: beheading enemies, decapitating enemy action (Mengayau contained in the Iban language and Ibanik, also on the Dayak community in general).

Successful headhunters enhanced their own prestige, in part because their actions were perceived to contributes to the prosperity of kin and community through the performance of certain important rituals.

These rituals, such as the Iban kenyalang and the Kenyah mamat, required fresh human heads for their performance.

Headhunting has been associated with ideas regarding the head as the seat of the soul, with some forms of cannibalism in which the body or part of the body is consumed in order to transfer to the eater the soul matter of the victim, and with phallic cults and fertility rites intended to imbue the soil with productivity.

A few groups decorated their trophy skulls in characteristic ways by either attaching wooden or other elements to individual skulls and/or by engraving mostly floral elements on the neurocranial and facial parts of the trophy.

Dayaks are very careful to defend their females, hence in their system of head-taking, the heads of females are more highly valued than those of the men, in as much as it requires more artifice and bravery to obtain them.
Headhunting tradition of Dayak tribes

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