IdBrokE

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Iban - Pre-Brooke ♥ 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 the code below.

♠ Alternative names ♣ Dayaks; 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.' [3] '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.' [4]

♠ Peak Date ♣ ♥ The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but migration was common: '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.' [5] European and Chinese traders were present and interfered with the affairs of the Muslim sultanates on the island: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [6] The sultan of Brunei later ceded Sarawak to the Brooke Rajahs: 'Sarawak became the southern province of the sultanate of Brunei when the Majapahit empire of Java declined in the 15th century. James Brooke, an English adventurer and a former military officer of the East India Company, visited the territory in 1839 and aided the sultan in suppressing a revolt. As a reward for his services, Brooke was installed (1841) as raja of Sarawak over the sector from Tanjung Datu to the Batang (River) Samarahan; there he endeavoured to suppress piracy and headhunting.' [7] '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.' [8] There seems to be little analytical value in identifying a peak period for the pre-Brooke Raj period.


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 1650-1841 CE ♥ The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but migration was common: '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.' [9] European and Chinese traders were present and interfered with the affairs of the Muslim sultanates on the island: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [10] The sultan of Brunei later ceded Sarawak to the Brooke Rajahs: 'Sarawak became the southern province of the sultanate of Brunei when the Majapahit empire of Java declined in the 15th century. James Brooke, an English adventurer and a former military officer of the East India Company, visited the territory in 1839 and aided the sultan in suppressing a revolt. As a reward for his services, Brooke was installed (1841) as raja of Sarawak over the sector from Tanjung Datu to the Batang (River) Samarahan; there he endeavoured to suppress piracy and headhunting.' [11] '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.' [12]

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ quasi-polity ♥ The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but had established themselves in Sarawak by the 19th century: '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.' [13] Sarawak was initially controlled by the sultanate of Brunei before being ceded to the White Rajahs: 'Sarawak became the southern province of the sultanate of Brunei when the Majapahit empire of Java declined in the 15th century. James Brooke, an English adventurer and a former military officer of the East India Company, visited the territory in 1839 and aided the sultan in suppressing a revolt. As a reward for his services, Brooke was installed (1841) as raja of Sarawak over the sector from Tanjung Datu to the Batang (River) Samarahan; there he endeavoured to suppress piracy and headhunting.' [14] '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.' [15] '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' [16] There was no central organization among the Iban themselves: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [17] '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.' [18] It is assumed here that the reach of the Sultanate vis-á-vis the Iban population both in Sarawak and the interior was superficial at best. The sources also seem to indicate that the Iban population did not acknowledge the legitimacy of the Sultanate, being de facto self-governing.

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ none ♥ The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but migration was common: '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.' [19] European and Chinese traders and pirates were present on Borneo even before the 17th century, but Iban territory was not part of the formal colonial system at the time: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [20] Iban communities were de facto self-governing before the Brooke Raj period: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [21] '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.' [22] It is assumed here that this was true prior to the 17th century as well.

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Iban Communities ♥ European and Chinese traders and pirates were present on Borneo even before the 17th century, but Iban territory was not part of the formal colonial system at the time: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [23] Iban communities were de facto self-governing before the Brooke Raj period: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [24] '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.' [25] It is assumed here that this was true prior to the 17th century as well.
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥ European and Chinese traders and pirates were present on Borneo even before the 17th century, but Iban territory was not part of the formal colonial system at the time: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [26] Iban communities were de facto self-governing before the Brooke Raj period: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [27] '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.' [28] It is assumed here that this was true prior to the 17th century as well.
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Brooke Raj; White Rajahs ♥ Under Brooke Raj rule, the governed Iban communities remained relatively autonomous in the regulation of local matters, although a colonial administrative structure was superimposed onto the Iban system of 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.' [29] '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.' [30] But 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).' [31]
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ South-East Asia ♥ The Iban form part of the non-Muslim 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.' [32] The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but migration was common: '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.' [33] But during the age of imperialism, contact with Europeans and Chinese traders and pirates became more common in Borneo: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [34] The island of Borneo also 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.' [35] We follow eHRAF in grouping the island of Borneo with South-East Asia [36]. Wikipedia gives the geographical size of South-East Asia as 4,500,000 km2 [37].
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ 4,500,000 ♥ km squared. The Iban form part of the non-Muslim 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.' [38] The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but migration was common: '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.' [39] But during the age of imperialism, contact with Europeans and Chinese traders and pirates became more common in Borneo: 'Modern European knowledge of Borneo dates from travelers who passed through Southeast Asia in the 14th century. The first recorded European visitor was the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, who visited Talamasim on his way from India to China in 1330. The Portuguese, followed by the Spanish, established trading relations on the island early in the 16th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese and Spanish trade monopoly was broken by the Dutch, who, intervening in the affairs of the Muslim kingdoms, succeeded in replacing Mataram influence with their own. The coastal strip along the South China and Sulu seas was long oriented toward the Philippines to the northeast and was often raided by Sulu pirates. British interests, particularly in the north and west, diminished that of the Dutch. The Brunei sultanate was an Islamic kingdom that at one time had controlled the whole island but by the 19th century ruled only in the north and northwest. In 1841 Sarawak was split away on the southwest, becoming an independent kingdom ruled by the Brooke Raj. North Borneo (later Sabah) to the northeast was obtained by a British company to promote trade and suppress piracy, but it was not demarcated until 1912. Those losses left a much-reduced Brunei, which became a British protectorate in 1888.' [40] The island of Borneo also 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.' [41] We follow eHRAF in grouping the island of Borneo with South-East Asia [42]. Wikipedia gives the geographical size of South-East Asia as 4,500,000 km2 [43]. We follow eHRAF in grouping the island of Borneo with South-East Asia [44]. Wikipedia gives the geographical size of South-East Asia as 4,500,000 km2 [45].

♠ Capital ♣ none ♥ The Iban claim to originate in the Kapuas Basin, but had established themselves in Sarawak by the 19th century: '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.' [46] Sarawak was nominally controlled by the sultanate of Brunei before being ceded to the White Rajahs: 'Sarawak became the southern province of the sultanate of Brunei when the Majapahit empire of Java declined in the 15th century. James Brooke, an English adventurer and a former military officer of the East India Company, visited the territory in 1839 and aided the sultan in suppressing a revolt. As a reward for his services, Brooke was installed (1841) as raja of Sarawak over the sector from Tanjung Datu to the Batang (River) Samarahan; there he endeavoured to suppress piracy and headhunting.' [47] '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' [48] '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.' [49] The Iban themselves were not organized around a capital, instead being dispersed into independent communities: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [50] '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.' [51] We have therefore assumed that there was little to no interaction between Iban villages and the towns of the Sultanate, making the identification of a capital unreasonable.

♠ Language ♣ Iban ♥ '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.' [52] '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.' [53]

General Description

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.[54] 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.[55] 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. [56] With the exception of a period of Japanese control during the Second World War,[57] the British maintained control over this particular region up until Brunei's independence in 1984.[58]

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.[59]
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.[60] More recently, we know that the 1985 census for Sarawak estimates the number of Iban at around 439,000 people.[61]

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ ♥ in squared kilometers Iban political organization was decentralized, with autonomous villages dominating the scene (see below). Reliable estimates of the territory typically covered by such a quasi-polity are very had to make. This is in part due to the practice of swidden cultivation and the persistence of uncultivated land in between inhabited communities. We therefore cannot provide a reliable proxy measure.

♠ Polity Population ♣ [25-500] ♥ People. We have assumed that reliable data on the total size of the Iban population are unavailable for the pre-Brooke Raj period. However, as noted above, each longhouse constituted its own autonomous unit,[62] 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."[63]

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [25-500] ♥ People. As noted above, the Iban mostly lived in longhouse communities,[64] 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."[65]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 1 ♥ levels.

(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).' [66] '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. [67] 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.' [68]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ 1 ♥ levels.

(1) Village Headman (TUAI RUMAH)

Iban social organization was 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.' [69] 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.' [70] Only in the colonial period did rulers superimpose an administrative system of regional chiefs onto the village-based social structure of autonomous 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.' [71]

♠ Religious levels ♣ 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’.' [72] '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.' [73] '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.' [74] 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.' [75] 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.' [76] '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.' [77] 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.' [78]

♠ Military levels ♣ 2 ♥ levels.

(2) Village Headmen and 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.' [79] 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.' [80] '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.' [81] 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.' [82]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists Even 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.' [83] 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.' [84] But there was no armed corps prior to Brooke Raj rule. Even then, military service was probably of a non-permanent nature and functioned within the Iban system of seasonal labour migration. 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.' [85] 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.' [86] '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.' [87] 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.' [88]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists Even 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.' [89] 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.' [90] But there was no armed corps prior to Brooke Raj rule. Even then, military service was probably of a non-permanent nature and functioned within the Iban system of seasonal labour migration. 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.' [91] 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.' [92] '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.' [93] 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.' [94]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ absent ♥ 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.' [95] '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.' [96] 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.' [97] 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”.' [98] 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.' [99] 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.' [100]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ absent ♥ Full-time specialists The village headmen and war-leaders were not bureaucrats, as there was little formalization on the village level. 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.' [101] Only in the colonial period did rulers superimpose an administrative system of regional chiefs onto the village-based social structure of autonomous 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.' [102] Iban social organization remained relatively egalitarian even then: '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.' [103]

♠ Examination system ♣ absent ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ absent ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ absent ♥

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ absent ♥ 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.' [104] The Brooke Raj administration introduced a formal penal code only in the colonial period: '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.' [105]

♠ Judges ♣ 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).' [106] 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.' [107]

♠ Courts ♣ absent ♥ 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.' [108] But the Brooke administration established courts on district/polity level in the colonial period only: '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.' [109]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ absent ♥ Professional lawyers were not present in Iban communities and trials: '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.' [110]

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ absent ♥
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ absent ♥ Drinking water was fetched from streams in gourds. [111]
♠ markets ♣ inferred absent ♥ In the colonial period, 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).' [112] 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.' [113] 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.' [114] The sources seem to indicate that this practice originated in the colonial period only, piracy and home production being the norm beforehand.
♠ food storage sites ♣ 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.' [115]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ absent ♥
♠ Bridges ♣ absent ♥
♠ Canals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Ports ♣ absent ♥

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ absent ♥ Our material on warfare (see below) suggests the use of metal tools, but weapons were 'home-made' or taken in raids rather than commercially produced.

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ 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.' [116] We have assumed that this was true before the Brooke Raj period.
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ present ♥ 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 [...]' [117] 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.' [118]
♠ Written records ♣ absent ♥
♠ Script ♣ absent ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ absent ♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ absent ♥
♠ Calendar ♣ absent ♥ Written calendars were only introduced later on: '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.' [119] '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.' [120]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ absent ♥
♠ Religious literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Practical literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ History ♣ absent ♥
♠ Philosophy ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fiction ♣ absent ♥


Money

♠ Articles ♣ 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 only, 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.’ [121] But articles were used in small-scale exchanges even then: '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.' [122] '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.' [123] We have therefore assumed that most exchanges took the form of barter prior to Brooke Raj rule.
♠ Tokens ♣ absent ♥
♠ Precious metals ♣ absent ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ 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'. The trade economy was monetized during the Brooke Raj and colonial periods only, 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.’ [124] '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.' [125] We have therefore assumed that most exchanges took the form of barter prior to Brooke Raj rule.
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ absent ♥
♠ Paper currency ♣ absent ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ 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.' [126] 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.' [127] The same is true for invitations sent out to other longhouse communities on the occasion of festivals.
♠ Postal stations ♣ absent ♥
♠ General postal service ♣ absent ♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl; Hugh Bennett ♥

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred absent ♥ Note: Some of the equipment listed here may be 'talismanic' rather than 'practical' in the conventional sense of the term. Accordingly, some codes may be in need of reconsideration. In the colonial period, the Iban were in contact with copper coins, but no weaponry is mentioned: "In his quarterly report, the Resident for the Lower Rejang described the Iban's hoarding of copper coinage." [128] We have therefore assumed that copper was absent from Iban military technology prior to Brooke Raj rule as well.
♠ Bronze ♣ inferred absent ♥ The use of brass guns is attested for the colonial period: "...the Dyaks possess some small brass guns." [129] "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." [130] We have provisionally assumed that guns were absent prior to Brooke Raj rule.
♠ Iron ♣ present ♥ In the colonial period, the Iban manufactured their own iron weaponry: "The Uma Bawangs are famous for their parangs , which they make out of their own iron ore." [131] "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." [132] We have assumed that this was true prior to colonial rule as well.
♠ Steel ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Steel blades are mentioned for the colonial period: "The sangkoh is a long wooden shaft with a steel spear head... The blade is of steel, and is 12 inches in length." [133] We need confirmation as to when Iban fighters started to use steel weapons.

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ 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." [134]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ New World weapon.
♠ Slings ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Self bow ♣ absent ♥ "...neither bows nor arrows are known in the islands." [135]
♠ Composite bow ♣ absent ♥ "...neither bows nor arrows are known in the islands." [136]
♠ Crossbow ♣ absent ♥ "...neither bows nor arrows are known in the islands." [137]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥ In the colonial period, war leaders occasionally captured cannons from European troops: "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." [138] "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." [139] "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." [140] "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." [141] Cannons were absent prior to colonial incursions.
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥ Guns were introduced in the colonial period and came into widespread use only then: "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." [142] "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." [143]

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Battle axes ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Daggers ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ "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." [144]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ "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." [145]
♠ Polearms ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ present ♥ "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." [146]
♠ Donkeys ♣ absent ♥
♠ Horses ♣ absent ♥
♠ Camels ♣ absent ♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent ♥

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." [147]
♠ 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." [148]
♠ Shields ♣ 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." [149]
♠ Helmets ♣ 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." [150]
♠ Breastplates ♣ absent ♥ The war-jacket does not seem to constitute a breastplate: "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." [151] "...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." [152]
♠ Limb protection ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Chainmail ♣ absent ♥
♠ Scaled armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Laminar armor ♣ absent ♥
♠ Plate armor ♣ absent ♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present ♥ Iban war-boasts could hold a sizable force: "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." [153] Low seems to refer to the same model, even though the vessel described appears smaller: "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." [154] We have chosen to identify war boats as small vessels rather than military ships.
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ absent ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ absent ♥

Fortifications

♠ 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." [155] "...in June, 1857, [Charles Brooke] launched his first major expedition against the fortified longhouse of Rentap on the summit of Mount Sadok." [156]
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ present ♥ "These various expedients--palisades, traces, traps and aeolian alarms--all contribute to the defence of a farm." [157] "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." [158] "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." [159]
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Ditch ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Moat ♣ suspected unknown ♥ No references in the literature. RA.
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ absent ♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ absent ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ absent ♥
♠ Long walls ♣ absent ♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ ♥
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ ♥
♠ Impeachment ♣ ♥

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ absent ♥ References (1) and (2) seem to be in contradiction? However, what is inherited is Bilek/bilik. Some property is always inherited, even among the super-egalitarian foragers, so that in itself is not a basis for coding “present.” Note that the second quote also says that Iban are egalitarian, but there are (perhaps subtle) differences in status, or social prestige between lineages - but not necessarily class. So it may not really contradict the first quote. (1) 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.'[160] (2) '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).'[161]

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Eva Brandl ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ absent ♥ The longhouse headman (tuai rumah) usually had to be an augur (tuai burong) who was good at recognising omens. [162] [163]eHRAF provides the following general description of the religious system: 'Religious beliefs and behavior pervade every part of Iban life. In their interpretations of their world, nature, and society, they refer to remote creator gods who brought the elements and structured order into existence; the bird-god SENGALANG BURONG who directs their lives through messages borne by his seven sons-in-law, and the popular gods who provide models for living. Iban religion is a product of a holistic approach to life, in which attention is paid to all events in the waking and sleeping states. The religion involves an all-embracing causality, born of the Iban conviction that "nothing happens without cause." The pervasiveness of their religion has sensitized them to every part of their world, and created an elaborate otherworld (SEBAYAN), in which everything is vested with the potential for sensate thought and action. In Iban beliefs and narratives trees talk, crotons walk, macaques become incubi, jars moan for lack of attention, and the sex of the human fetus is determined by a cricket, the metamorphized form of a god.' [164] 'Though the gods live in PANGGAU LIBAU, a remote and godly realm, they are unseen, ubiquitous presences. In contrast to the exclusive categories of Judaism and Christianity, "supernaturals" and "mortals" interact in all activities of importance. In contrast to the gods who are more benevolently inclined towards mortals, Iban believe in and fear a host of malevolent spirits. These spirits are patent projections onto a cosmic screen of anxieties and stresses suffered by Iban: the menacing father figure, the vengeful mother, the freeloader, and becoming lost in the forest. Iban strive to maintain good life and health by adherence to customary laws, avoidance of taboos, and the presentation of offerings and animal sacrifices.' [165] '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.' [166] 'Iban rituals (GAWA, GAWAI) may be grouped into four major categories: (1) one dozen major and three dozen minor ones agricultural festivals; (2) healing rituals, performed by the shaman, commencing in the BILEK and progressing to the outer veranda; (3) ceremonies for the courageous, commemorating warfare and headhunting; and (4) rituals for the dead. Iban of all divisions perform rituals of the first two categories. Ceremonies to honor warriors has assumed greater importance in the upper Rejang, and rituals for the dead have been much more elaborated in the First and Second Divisions of Sarawak.' [167] Iban social organization was relatively egalitarian: '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [168] '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.' [169] Longhouse communities were headed by informal leaders doubling as village functionaries: '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.' [170] '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.' [171] Spirits factored into informal conventions of social control: 'Iban employ three strategies of social control. First, from childhood, they are taught to avoid conflict, and for a majority, every effort is made to prevent it. Second, they are taught by story and drama of the existence of numerous spirits, who vigilantly ensure observation of numerous taboos; some spirits are interested in preserving the peace, while others are responsible for any strife that arises. In these ways, the stresses and conflicts of ordinary life, especially life in the longhouse, in which one is in more or less constant sight and sound of others, have been displaced onto the spirits. Third, the headman hears disputes between members of the same house, the regional chief, disputes between members of different houses, and government officers, hear those disputes that headmen and regional chiefs cannot resolve.' [172] The mediating capacities of headmen were considered to impact the ritual and spiritual health of the longhouse community: 'Inside the bilek is kept and displayed the most valuable property of the household: the sacred Chinese jars ( tajau ) that have or had magical or medicinal powers attributed to them, bronze gongs and guns and the fine hand-woven textiles that are used only on important occasions. The roofed gallery, the ruai , is probably the most interesting part of the longhouse, however, as most tasks and interactions take place here, from food-preparation, gossiping, news-exchange and story-telling [Page 90] to mourning rituals, invocations and other sacred rites. Here also the tuai rumah , or village head-man, mediates between disputing parties so that the ritual balance of the whole longhouse community will not be endangered, and discussions are carried on about ventures and ideas that are of joint interest to all bilek -families. The young, un-married men sleep here and up close to the ceiling hang the highly treasured antu pala , the smoke-dried, blackened heads taken from former enemies. Like most other possessions in Iban society these are owned by the bilek -family and are not the common property of the whole community. In fact there is only one part of the longhouse that is jointly owned and that is the notched ladder (-s) that lead up to the open tanju platform. The latter is mainly used as a drying place for a variety of things, the most noteworthy being padi , which ultimately gets stored in bark-tubs in the sadau . The whole house structure is placed on supporting posts to avoid the risk of flooding, to make the house safer from animals and, in former times, to make it easier to defend. The house should never be built across a stream nor should it be directly facing another across the river. The reason for the latter I do not know, but the former probably comes from streams being used as boundary marks between adjacent communities plus the fact that household refuse gets dropped through slits in the floor onto the ground under the house to feed the domestic pigs, which occupy this area.' [173] 'It is also within these sectors that we find specialisation and whatever limited leadership there is above the bilek level. This is embodied in the tuai rumah (house headman) and the tuai burong (augur). The foremost accomplishment of the tuai rumah is a sound knowledge of Iban customary law, adat , but he should also possess oratorical skill and the ability to serve as a mediator. It should be remembered that the adat not only signifies law in our western sense as a set of rules ordering social interaction, it has a wider implication of relating Iban society to the supra-human sphere, and it is extremely vital that the balance between these two ‘worlds’ does not get upset. The tuai rumah is thus the expounder of the law and the arbitrator between opposing parties on one level but through his meting out ‘fines’, or rather atonements, he is instrumental in restoring harmony between this level and a higher one. He can resort to no sanctions to ascertain that his rulings are carried out and there is no need for this either as the pressure to rectify, originates in the spiritual sphere which if necessary could be implemented by social sanctions by other members of the community, who themselves face ritual danger because of the actions of the malfeasant. Thus the tuai rumah does not enact his role within a formal institution of leadership but attains his standing through knowledge of adat , shrewdness of judgment and eloquent skills. Should he lose any of these “charismatic” qualities, which I think would manifest itself through inter-community strife and possibly natural mishaps, the people will leave him and the longhouse that carries his name and seek out some other community which they could join by employing the wide net of kindred. Alternatively there is the possibility of rejecting a non-satisfactory tuai rumah and [Page 101] choosing a new one.' [174] Accordingly, leadership was charismatic in style: 'My suggestion then is that individual achievement and charismatic style had a sociological significance in the Iban social system. If we look at the Iban kinship system in relation to the local community it becomes apparent that kinship links, however highly valued, did not suffice to tie the individual family-unit, the bilek , to one longhouse community only. The bilek , which was, and is, an autonomous and jural entity of unlimited life, could at any stage detach itself from the longhouse and move elsewhere. The community was thus an aggregation of such individual units. This was further evident in the structure of the longhouse domicile itself, because a departing bilek could, after having paid the ritual fine ( pemali fine) literally cemove the building material of its bilek apartment when it left the house. If the removing bilek was not situated at either end of the house this would mean that the longhouse would be broken into two parts with a gap in between. In the prevailing social system there was no institutionalized way in which to apply coercion to prevent the departure of individual bilek in order to safeguard the continued life of the community. It is in this context that I think we have to consider the roles of the war-leader [Page 135] and/or house headman, whom I will simply refer to as the leader hereafter. His role was the embodiment of the various aspects of success and through this he supplied the “social cement” that Helped both in founding a community and in keeping it together.' [175] 'From Benedict Sandin's ethnohistorical account it is clear that the pioneering leaders that came northwards from the Kapuas region were war-leaders as well as men of some wealth, and that their followers - kin-affiliation aside - were attracted to them for these very reasons. Former success in war meant that the followers would have confidence in their leader's ability both in attacking others and also in the defence of the home community, either through actual combat or through a reputation that would intimidate others. The wealth of the leader also would enable the payment of compensations should this become necessary (p. 155), and his ability to speak well would unite his followers against the outside and also aid in settling disputes or disagreements between members of the community. These various factors added up to the charisma of the leader and helped in binding the units together. Should his strength and ability lessen or even disappear this would immediately manifest itself in the lack of success and if this was a continuing trend, his followers, that is the different bilek entities, would seek to attach themselves to another longhouse or to establish a new one. There was also a possibility of ousting the leader and appointing someone else, believed to possess the qualities giving superior strength against others, good harvests and the absence of illness and death.' [176] 'In Iban social crganisation there seem to be two opposing principles at work, one favouring cohesion of the local community, the other tending towards fragmentation by emphasising the autonomy of the primary unit, the bilek family. Factors working towards unity are to be sought in terms of kinship and ritual harmony, because there was as we have seen earlier, a high degree of local endogamy making for a close network and also the [Page 136] idea that decisions involving the whole community could only be reached after general discussion. Obedience to the adat and the observance of the omens also involved the whole community, because if the harmony became upset this would endanger the whole longhouse and show itself in misfortune and death. Although earlier writers on the Iban have remarked that the position of the “chief” was not a very strong one, because it did not correspond to the formal hierarchy of the Western world, I suggest that his role was of great importance in holding the local community together. His charisma and continuing success, which also was the success of the community, added to the centripetal forces and taken together meant that there could be lasting communities in spite of the atomistic character that the autonomy of the bilek imparts to Iban social organisation.' [177] Despite these characteristics, we have not found evidence of headmen being directly legitimated by spirit beings or controlling supernatural energy. More material may be needed.

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ absent ♥

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ present ♥ The Iban were organized in relatively autonomous residential longhouse communities rather than social classes: 'The fundamental unit of Iban society is the BILEK-family, a group of five or six persons defined by kinship and affinity. Depending upon negotiations at a couple's marriage, there is an almost even chance that their children will be born into the family of either the wife or the husband. Iban families are part of a widely ramifying kinship system which developed in response to Iban mobility. The SUKU JURU and KABAN BELAYAN correspond to the kindred. The former connotes kin ties originating with one's grandparents and includes persons to the degree of first cousin. The latter is any group of people who share rights of reciprocity with an Iban, and may include nonkin and even non-Iban. More inclusive groups include "the brotherhood" and "food-sharers", made up of distant kin who would be invited to one's festivals, or whose festivals an Iban would attend. Attachment is ambilateral and descent, ambilineal. Although some Iban are capable of reconstructing genealogies up to fifteen generations in depth, such reconstructions are selective and illustrate the Iban practice of "genealogizing" so as to establish ancestral ties with strangers.' [178] 'Terms of reference are Eskimo and the terms of address, Hawaiian.' [179] 'The BILEK-family is an autonomous unit, able to join with other units of a longhouse or to detach itself. Iban become members of a family through birth, adoption, marriage, or incorporation. The family is responsible for construction of its own unit, production of its own food, and management of its own affairs. In a sample of 1,051 families, 60 percent were comprised of parents and children, 40 percent included grandparents. The family is a kin-based, corporate group, holding in trust land, sacred rice, sacred charms, ritual formulas, taboos, and heirloom gongs and jars. Traditionally, one son or daughter has remained in the BILEK to ensure continuity over time. 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.' [180] '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. Regionalism, deriving from these alliances, in which Iban distinguished themselves from other allied groups, persist in modern state politics. Essentially egalitarian, Iban are aware of long-standing status distinctions among themselves of RAJA BERANI (wealthy and brave), MENSI SARIBU (commoners), and ULUN (slaves). Prestige still accrues to descendants of the first status, disdain to descendants of the third.' [181] Social control and authority were informal: '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.' [182] 'Iban employ three strategies of social control. First, from childhood, they are taught to avoid conflict, and for a majority, every effort is made to prevent it. Second, they are taught by story and drama of the existence of numerous spirits, who vigilantly ensure observation of numerous taboos; some spirits are interested in preserving the peace, while others are responsible for any strife that arises. In these ways, the stresses and conflicts of ordinary life, especially life in the longhouse, in which one is in more or less constant sight and sound of others, have been displaced onto the spirits. Third, the headman hears disputes between members of the same house, the regional chief, disputes between members of different houses, and government officers, hear those disputes that headmen and regional chiefs cannot resolve.' [183] 'Traditionally Iban leaders sought to settle disputes, as far as possible, through negotiation and attempted to avert recourse to self-help and other means that might potentially lead to open violence. In this, they were greatly aided by the highly comprehensive nature of traditional adat itself, which, although unwritten gave systematic definition of offences and correct punishments. Also important in this connection was the role formerly played by go-betweens. Within a longhouse respected elders frequently intervened in disputes, restraining the two sides and acting with their consent as negotiating agents. Such intervention was strongly supported by Iban values, particularly by the notion that a breach of adat or unresolved contention posed a collective [Page xxiv] spiritual danger to the well-being of all community members. Public spirited elders, including the longhouse headman and friends of the disputants, might even agree to make token compensation themselves, called sa-uta iring manok . In doing so, a speedy settlement was often achieved that avoided acrimony and possible loss of face by the principals.' [184] War-leaders and headmen attained prestige, but were not entitled to exceptional deference: '150. When a man does become a tuai rumah there is no kind of initiation ceremony, nor is he given any kind of honorific title. His kindred continue to use the ordinary terms of classificatory kinship ( anak, menyadi, apai , etc.). while strangers address him as wai (friend), or with his personal name (e.g. Nyala). Towards him there are no special attitudes of deference or respect, other than he is able to command by virtue of his own personal prowess and prestige. He receives no tribute of any kind, and is entitled to no special privileges -- except in his relations with Government officials. Unless he also is a tuai burong , he has no religious duties to perform, and no sort of ritual sanctity attaches to his person or the apartment be occupies. It frequently happens, of course, that a tuai rumah is also a man of considerable personal prestige. He may, for example, be a successful head-hunter, and have sealed his renown by performing a number of the great rituals ( gawai ), which rank so high in Iban estimation. Again, being a tuai rumah does mean that a man becomes widely known, for it is usual for an Iban community to be called after its tuai rumah (e.g. Rumah Nyala, etc.). and this is undoubtedly one of the main attractions which the office has for ambitions individuals. A tuai rumah is also presented with special opportunities for meeting Europeans, and, in Iban eyes, such meetings are likely to lead to all manner of desirable results. But here, we are primarily concerned with the jural status of a tuai rumah within his own long-house. Under Iban adat a tuai rumah has no authority to command other members of the community, nor are they, in any real sense, his subordinates. Were a tuai rumah so rash as to issue commands to others, he would at once be rebuffed, and sharply. Rather, such influence as he does exert is by a subtle mixture of persuasion and admonition, for he knows that his position is dependent on the continued goodwill and approval of his anembiak , as the other members of the house are called. In many ways his role is an unenviable one. I remember tuai rumah Nyala, remarking to me with some feeling that he only ever gave his opinion when it was asked for; he would be malu (ashamed), he said, to volunteer advice to any of his anembiak , and, in any case, no-one would ever listen to him if he did.' [185] Accordingly, the Iban have been characterized as an acephalous society: 'Prior to the arrival of the Brookes, the Iban present a picture of an exceedingly energetic people, waring among themselves and with others, and constantly expanding territorially, absorbing and displacing other groups of people in the process. This pattern of aggressive outward expansion continued into the 1850's and, on a more peaceful basis, even later. Throughout this traditional period, social loyalties centered on major river systems. The watersheds dividing these rivers tended to delimit major regional groups, or “tribes”, and these groups, under the leadership of senior warriors and warleaders, the raja berani, tau kayau or tau serang , constituted the maximal units of traditional society organized for aggression and territorial defence. While regional leaders sought to minimize the dangers of fratricidal conflict among their followers, their formal powers were limited almost entirely to the context of warfare. Thus Iban society was traditionally “acephelous” and totally without a centralized, hierarchical political order. Political power was dispersed between basically sovereign local communities, longhouses and kindreds. It was in this turbulent setting that traditional Iban adat evolved, as an intricate system of social rules and sanctions, in independent, highly egalitarian communities without centralized authority, which, yet, for reasons of survival, required effective means for resolving contention and preserving internal order.' [186] Rights in land were held by longhouse families: 'Rights to land are established by clearing and farming it, or by occupying it. Rights to the use of farmland are vested in the BILEK-family, and are held in perpetuity. These rights are maintained in the living memory of the residents of each longhouse. Boundaries are indicated by landforms or trees, or are marked by planting a row of bamboo. Except for the land overshadowed by the eaves of the longhouse, there is no land to which a community holds rights. With the introduction of surveys and titles to land in the early 1900s, Iban who lived closer to government centers obtained titles to their land, under which rights of individual families to land could be verified. As a result of increased population and the commercialization of land, some Iban have bought land for investment and speculation.' [187] The Iban practiced both partible and nonpartible inheritance. Nonpartible property was transmitted within senior lineages attached to a continuous longhouse community: 'It is one of the axioms of Iban adat that the padi pun of a bilek is nonpartible. What then is the solution when a family sub-divides into two separate households? Briefly it is this: the senior section retains possession of the padi pun , while the seceding section is presented with one of the sangking , which is then elevated to become its padi pun . Here, clearly, we have a criterion of crucial importance for the study of the process of bilek family formation in Iban society. The senior section of a family is always definable by the fact that its padi pun was inherited as padi pun ; while the padi pun of a seceding section is always inherited as sangking . By studying the inheritance of padi pun and sangking , therefore, it is possible to establish the main line of a family, and the various offshoots from it which have been brought about by partition.' [188] 'A second non-partible object is the batu pemanggol , or ritual whetstone, which is the centre-piece of the rites that initiate the yearly farming cycle. Each bilek family possesses one of these stones which is cherished as a magical charm of most vital importance. A few Iban families, indeed, still have whetstones upon which human victims--captives taken in war--were once sacrificed. Such stones are called batu jaum , and are immeasurably valuable in Iban estimation. To divide a batu pemanggol would be to destroy it, and so, when partition takes place, it is always retained in the ancestral bilek . The seceding section, seeking an auspicious occasion, gathers a suitable-looking stone from the river bed. With a great show of solemnity, the new stone is touched on the old and then consecrated; tutelary spirits are invoked and offerings made, and finally a pig or cock is sacrificed and the blood allowed to run on the stone's surface. This stone then becomes the batu pemanggol of the seceding section.' [189] 'When partition occurs then, the senior section of the family always retains the ancestral sacred rice and ritual whetstone. It may also happen that a bilek possesses some other unique magical or ritual object and, if this be the case, this too is retained by the senior section. With these exceptions, however, all the other property of the bilek is partible, and its apportionment is in accord with the relative size and the composition of the two sections resulting from the partition, following the general rule that siblings are parceners.' [190] Both patrifiliation and matrifiliation were common: 'Further, membership of his (or her) natal bilek confers upon a child inheritance rights over its properties and lands, and these rights are retained as long as the individual remains a resident member. Among the Iban, then, filiation is of a special kind, for it may be either to an individual's mother's bilek or to an individual's father's bilek, but not to both at the same time. Moreover, in practice, both types of filiation occur to an approximately equal extent. We are here confronted with a fundamental principle of the Iban family system.' [191] Given the practice of ambilocal residence, inheritance rights were thus determined by residence rather than membership in social classes: 'However, should a man, upon marriage, permanently leave his natal bilek , he thereby relinquishes his parcenary rights over its estate, but acquires rights in the bilek into which he marries and settles down. The same applies to a woman who marries out of her natal apartment. An affine, then, possesses parcenary rights within the bilek of which he (or she) is a resident member.' [192] '10. Within the bilek family siblings have equivalent rights; in other words, they are parceners or co-heirs. If a sibling marries out he thereby relinquishes rights of inheritance in his natal bilek family, but acquires rights in the bilek family into which he marries. This rule applies equally to men and to women. When divorce occurs an individual returns to his or her natal bilek family and resumes rights there; but widows and widowers do not return to their natal bilek families. Thus, an analysis of 52 cases showed that there were 26 widows or widowers living as members of their natal bilek families, and 26 who were living in bilek families of which they were members by right of marriage and local residence.' [193] 'In accordance with custom, an Iban who marries into another longhouse and joins his or her spouse's family is no longer entitled to inherit ancestral lands left behind in the former longhouse area. If such an individual has no siblings living in his or her original family bilek , these lands are left under the guardianship of the Tuai Rumah, who has authority to allow other members of the longhouse to make use of them until one of the former owner's heirs can re-establish the ancestral bilek and reclaim its lands. Only lands which are officially titled can be claimed wherever the owner lives in the country; otherwise rights of use are contigent upon the family's continual residence within the longhouse where the land is located. This means that if an Iban migrates from one river to another, he will automatically loose rights to all of his temuda lands which have no official title. If he has no sibling living in the village these lands will become available for use by the people of the longhouse he has left and are subject to reapportionment by the Tuai Rumah.' [194] Freeman provides a general summary of the property system: 'Having briefly described the composition of the bilek family and the way in which its members are recruited, we may turn to an examination of the principles governing inheritance, for these, under the Iban system of filiation, are of particular significance. Let us begin by considering the position of the natal and adopted members of the family. As has already been stressed, children become members by right of birth of either their father's or their mother's bilek --but it is always one or the other. Thus, the children of a man practising uxorilocal residence are the members of their mother's natal bilek , and of this local group alone. They have no rights of inheritance within their father's natal bilek, of which they are not resident members. Similarly, the children of a woman practising virilocal residence are members of their father's local group, and have no rights of inheritance in their mother's natal bilek . Adopted children are members of the bilek into which they have been adopted, and of this bilek only.' [195] 'The general rule for both natural and adopted children is this: as long as they remain resident members of their own bilek family, sons and daughters possess full and equal rights of inheritance over the family estate. In other words, within a bilek siblings are parceners or co-heirs. There is thus recognition of neither primogeniture nor ultimogeniture, and no differentiation [Page 32] between the sexes, nor between natural and adopted children. Instead, in matters of inheritance, siblings are equals. Their equivalence is well expressed in the phrase: ‘ menyadi tampong pala ’ which the Iban use to describe them. These words, which have the literal meaning: ‘siblings whose heads are joined’, symbolize aptly the kind of relationship in which siblings stand. Another much-used phrase is: ‘ menyadi begulai pemai ’ meaning ‘siblings of common inheritance’.' [196] 'As long then, as an individual remains resident in a bilek , he (or she) is one of the group in which ownership and inheritance are vested. Indeed, it is the family as a whole that holds common tenure of the conglomeration of property and other rights which constitute ‘the bilek ’. In other words, the Iban bilek family is a corporation aggregate. Thus, no one of its members holds the right [Page 33] to disinherit another. In life the members of a bilek are parceners, and even in death each member is entitled to his share of the family estate--that last inheritance which he carries with him to the after-world. An elder looks to his children and to his grandchildren within the bilek family to care for him in his old age, and to perform conscientiously the elaborate mortuary rites which must accompany his passing from this world to the next. To the Iban these mortuary rites and the furnishing of grave goods are matters of supreme importance, and all the senior surviving members of the bilek family are expected to join in their faithful performance. As the Iban themselves phrase it: ‘As the mortuary rites are equally performed, so equally is the bilek estate inherited’ (‘ Enti blah ngelumbong, blah empu utai ’).' [197] Accordingly, the Iban were relatively egalitarian in the pre-colonial period.

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ present ♥ Longhouse communities were headed by 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.' [198] Social control and authority were informal: '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.' [199] 'Iban employ three strategies of social control. First, from childhood, they are taught to avoid conflict, and for a majority, every effort is made to prevent it. Second, they are taught by story and drama of the existence of numerous spirits, who vigilantly ensure observation of numerous taboos; some spirits are interested in preserving the peace, while others are responsible for any strife that arises. In these ways, the stresses and conflicts of ordinary life, especially life in the longhouse, in which one is in more or less constant sight and sound of others, have been displaced onto the spirits. Third, the headman hears disputes between members of the same house, the regional chief, disputes between members of different houses, and government officers, hear those disputes that headmen and regional chiefs cannot resolve.' [200] 'Traditionally Iban leaders sought to settle disputes, as far as possible, through negotiation and attempted to avert recourse to self-help and other means that might potentially lead to open violence. In this, they were greatly aided by the highly comprehensive nature of traditional adat itself, which, although unwritten gave systematic definition of offences and correct punishments. Also important in this connection was the role formerly played by go-betweens. Within a longhouse respected elders frequently intervened in disputes, restraining the two sides and acting with their consent as negotiating agents. Such intervention was strongly supported by Iban values, particularly by the notion that a breach of adat or unresolved contention posed a collective [Page xxiv] spiritual danger to the well-being of all community members. Public spirited elders, including the longhouse headman and friends of the disputants, might even agree to make token compensation themselves, called sa-uta iring manok . In doing so, a speedy settlement was often achieved that avoided acrimony and possible loss of face by the principals.' [201] War-leaders and headmen attained prestige, but were not entitled to exceptional deference: '150. When a man does become a tuai rumah there is no kind of initiation ceremony, nor is he given any kind of honorific title. His kindred continue to use the ordinary terms of classificatory kinship ( anak, menyadi, apai , etc.). while strangers address him as wai (friend), or with his personal name (e.g. Nyala). Towards him there are no special attitudes of deference or respect, other than he is able to command by virtue of his own personal prowess and prestige. He receives no tribute of any kind, and is entitled to no special privileges -- except in his relations with Government officials. Unless he also is a tuai burong , he has no religious duties to perform, and no sort of ritual sanctity attaches to his person or the apartment be occupies. It frequently happens, of course, that a tuai rumah is also a man of considerable personal prestige. He may, for example, be a successful head-hunter, and have sealed his renown by performing a number of the great rituals ( gawai ), which rank so high in Iban estimation. Again, being a tuai rumah does mean that a man becomes widely known, for it is usual for an Iban community to be called after its tuai rumah (e.g. Rumah Nyala, etc.). and this is undoubtedly one of the main attractions which the office has for ambitions individuals. A tuai rumah is also presented with special opportunities for meeting Europeans, and, in Iban eyes, such meetings are likely to lead to all manner of desirable results. But here, we are primarily concerned with the jural status of a tuai rumah within his own long-house. Under Iban adat a tuai rumah has no authority to command other members of the community, nor are they, in any real sense, his subordinates. Were a tuai rumah so rash as to issue commands to others, he would at once be rebuffed, and sharply. Rather, such influence as he does exert is by a subtle mixture of persuasion and admonition, for he knows that his position is dependent on the continued goodwill and approval of his anembiak , as the other members of the house are called. In many ways his role is an unenviable one. I remember tuai rumah Nyala, remarking to me with some feeling that he only ever gave his opinion when it was asked for; he would be malu (ashamed), he said, to volunteer advice to any of his anembiak , and, in any case, no-one would ever listen to him if he did.' [202] Headmanship was determined by individual ability rather than predetermined social status: 'It is also within these sectors that we find specialisation and whatever limited leadership there is above the bilek level. This is embodied in the tuai rumah (house headman) and the tuai burong (augur). The foremost accomplishment of the tuai rumah is a sound knowledge of Iban customary law, adat , but he should also possess oratorical skill and the ability to serve as a mediator. It should be remembered that the adat not only signifies law in our western sense as a set of rules ordering social interaction, it has a wider implication of relating Iban society to the supra-human sphere, and it is extremely vital that the balance between these two ‘worlds’ does not get upset. The tuai rumah is thus the expounder of the law and the arbitrator between opposing parties on one level but through his meting out ‘fines’, or rather atonements, he is instrumental in restoring harmony between this level and a higher one. He can resort to no sanctions to ascertain that his rulings are carried out and there is no need for this either as the pressure to rectify, originates in the spiritual sphere which if necessary could be implemented by social sanctions by other members of the community, who themselves face ritual danger because of the actions of the malfeasant. Thus the tuai rumah does not enact his role within a formal institution of leadership but attains his standing through knowledge of adat , shrewdness of judgment and eloquent skills. Should he lose any of these “charismatic” qualities, which I think would manifest itself through inter-community strife and possibly natural mishaps, the people will leave him and the longhouse that carries his name and seek out some other community which they could join by employing the wide net of kindred. Alternatively there is the possibility of rejecting a non-satisfactory tuai rumah and [Page 101] choosing a new one.' [203] T'My suggestion then is that individual achievement and charismatic style had a sociological significance in the Iban social system. If we look at the Iban kinship system in relation to the local community it becomes apparent that kinship links, however highly valued, did not suffice to tie the individual family-unit, the bilek , to one longhouse community only. The bilek , which was, and is, an autonomous and jural entity of unlimited life, could at any stage detach itself from the longhouse and move elsewhere. The community was thus an aggregation of such individual units. This was further evident in the structure of the longhouse domicile itself, because a departing bilek could, after having paid the ritual fine ( pemali fine) literally cemove the building material of its bilek apartment when it left the house. If the removing bilek was not situated at either end of the house this would mean that the longhouse would be broken into two parts with a gap in between. In the prevailing social system there was no institutionalized way in which to apply coercion to prevent the departure of individual bilek in order to safeguard the continued life of the community. It is in this context that I think we have to consider the roles of the war-leader [Page 135] and/or house headman, whom I will simply refer to as the leader hereafter. His role was the embodiment of the various aspects of success and through this he supplied the “social cement” that Helped both in founding a community and in keeping it together.' [204] There was no hereditary succession: '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.' [205] 'As there is no formal institution of headman-ship and there is the possibility of rejection by the community, it is logical that the position of tuai rumah can not be inherited. At times this might not be appreciated and when there are cases of this office remaining within the same bilek -family or being taken over by some very close relative outside the bilek one could easily be led to believe that the office was hereditary or semi-hereditary. This can probably be explained by seeing that the likelihood of a close male relative - women never hold this office - learning the adat and the much admired oratorical skills is much greater than for somebody else not so closely involved with the tuai rumah .' [206] Accordingly, the Iban have been characterized as an acephalous society: 'Prior to the arrival of the Brookes, the Iban present a picture of an exceedingly energetic people, waring among themselves and with others, and constantly expanding territorially, absorbing and displacing other groups of people in the process. This pattern of aggressive outward expansion continued into the 1850's and, on a more peaceful basis, even later. Throughout this traditional period, social loyalties centered on major river systems. The watersheds dividing these rivers tended to delimit major regional groups, or “tribes”, and these groups, under the leadership of senior warriors and warleaders, the raja berani, tau kayau or tau serang , constituted the maximal units of traditional society organized for aggression and territorial defence. While regional leaders sought to minimize the dangers of fratricidal conflict among their followers, their formal powers were limited almost entirely to the context of warfare. Thus Iban society was traditionally “acephelous” and totally without a centralized, hierarchical political order. Political power was dispersed between basically sovereign local communities, longhouses and kindreds. It was in this turbulent setting that traditional Iban adat evolved, as an intricate system of social rules and sanctions, in independent, highly egalitarian communities without centralized authority, which, yet, for reasons of survival, required effective means for resolving contention and preserving internal order.' [207] The mediating abilities of headmen impacted the viability of longhouse communities: 'The number of bilek -families making up a longhouse community varies a great deal. There may be from just a few up to twenty, thirty or even more in a few cases. Many factors are included; the quality and quantity of land in the area, whether past harvests have been good or not, the stage of the development cycle of the bilek -families of the house, equally also the stage of the dampa system cycle in which the community finds itself, and whether it is in a pioneer area or in a long-settled district. The degree of communal strife, which indirectly reflects on the [Page 91] mediating ability of the tuai rumah is probably also a factor to be taken into account. After initial establishment in a new area by a core group of pioneering households, the house grows to its maximum size, at all times dependent on these variables, and in communities with a traditional type of agriculture the ecological factor will decide the upper limit after which one can expect a period of decrease until the community is no longer viable.' [208] Historically, pioneers were charismatic war-leaders: 'From Benedict Sandin's ethnohistorical account it is clear that the pioneering leaders that came northwards from the Kapuas region were war-leaders as well as men of some wealth, and that their followers - kin-affiliation aside - were attracted to them for these very reasons. Former success in war meant that the followers would have confidence in their leader's ability both in attacking others and also in the defence of the home community, either through actual combat or through a reputation that would intimidate others. The wealth of the leader also would enable the payment of compensations should this become necessary (p. 155), and his ability to speak well would unite his followers against the outside and also aid in settling disputes or disagreements between members of the community. These various factors added up to the charisma of the leader and helped in binding the units together. Should his strength and ability lessen or even disappear this would immediately manifest itself in the lack of success and if this was a continuing trend, his followers, that is the different bilek entities, would seek to attach themselves to another longhouse or to establish a new one. There was also a possibility of ousting the leader and appointing someone else, believed to possess the qualities giving superior strength against others, good harvests and the absence of illness and death.' [209] 'In Iban social crganisation there seem to be two opposing principles at work, one favouring cohesion of the local community, the other tending towards fragmentation by emphasising the autonomy of the primary unit, the bilek family. Factors working towards unity are to be sought in terms of kinship and ritual harmony, because there was as we have seen earlier, a high degree of local endogamy making for a close network and also the [Page 136] idea that decisions involving the whole community could only be reached after general discussion. Obedience to the adat and the observance of the omens also involved the whole community, because if the harmony became upset this would endanger the whole longhouse and show itself in misfortune and death. Although earlier writers on the Iban have remarked that the position of the “chief” was not a very strong one, because it did not correspond to the formal hierarchy of the Western world, I suggest that his role was of great importance in holding the local community together. His charisma and continuing success, which also was the success of the community, added to the centripetal forces and taken together meant that there could be lasting communities in spite of the atomistic character that the autonomy of the bilek imparts to Iban social organisation.' [210] 'The question immediately springs to mind in this context: was the type of Iban leadership a function of the basic economy which necessitated continuous movement? If we compare the Iban with the Kayan it immediately becomes apparent that this was not the case. The Kayan had the same type of basic economy as the Iban, yet in their social organisation we find a rather rigid class structure and institutionalized leadership. There must have been other conditions that obtained for the Iban that account for this difference. I would suggest that the competition and warring that most likely started the Iban migrations into Sarawak would be conditions favouring the emergence of non-formalized leadership (if it did not obtain before, of which we know nothing). The charismatic leader would then be a prime agent in effecting communal cohesion, especially if the context was that of continuing disruption. It would also seem reasonable that there would be competition for leadership as every bilek unit was, in a sense, politically independent. Iban men, especially the younger males, would seek to display achievement within the fields constituting this success paradigm. They would try to excell in warring, raiding and head-taking, in amassing [Page 137] jungle-produce when on bejalai which could be converted into prestige items, and they would try to become skilled in oratory and the knowledge of the adat . Although this is a hypothetical discussion, such an interpretation seems to fit the historical and sociological facts and also helps to explain why the Iban men should have displayed an expressive life-style.' [211] 'This, of course, is a process that easily leads to escalation and it is probable that the high degree of raiding, head-taking and “piracy” that made the Saribas and Skrang Iban so notorious at the middle of the last century, not only mirrored the prestige and its “inflationary spiral” that Morgan has discussed, but also was the logical consequence of an overextension of charismatic leadership and the competition for this position. Certain ecological considerations need also to be taken into account here; soils and climate together would have to be such that increasingly larger communities could be supported. If this was the case then increased strength both economically and as a fighting force would be favourable factors in any confrontation with outside adversaries. The large settlements seen by James Brooke and his companions in the down-river areas of the First and Second Division support such an argument. Whether centrifugal tendencies would have increased and again broken up these large longhouse communities had the Brooke raj not been created, is naturally impossible to say. The change of the ecology factor as well as the increased defence potential of a larger community might equally well have led to greater stability. It seems clear, however, that the introduction of “law and order”, the reorganization of warfare and head-hunting and the increased opportunities in the economic sector would have a direct effect on the leadership. It is against this background that I presume Sandin to be justified when he talks about leadership amongst the Saribas Iban as being hereditary, because these new conditions would favour the institutionalization of the leadership in a more formal shape.' [212] Even after the formalization of offices undertaken in the colonial period, authority remained fluid in practice: 'With the coming of the Europeans a certain formalising of the role of the tuai rumah took place by investing it with legal and administrative powers as an agent of the government. In the same manner, influential leaders within territorial groupings, who often were war-leaders able to draw large followings, were elevated to district headmen ( penghulu ), a formal position with little correspondence to the factual and fluctuating basis for their authority. In fact the idea of leadership within Iban society appears so fluid and situational that an impromptu leader for any group undertaking, however small, is referred to as tuai .' [213]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ suspected unknown ♥ There were no elites in the strict sense of the term (see above). Accordingly this variable may not be applicable to the pre-colonial Iban.

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥

♠ production of public goods ♣ suspected unknown ♥ We are unsure whether the construction of longhouses falls under this category.

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ absent ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ absent ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ present ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [214] [215] [216]

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