The diversity in the traditional dances of Sarawak is a result of having people from so many different cultural backgrounds living harmoniously, proudly calling themselves Sarawakians. This Visit Sarawak, come and be fully immersed in the cultural dances of Sarawak. Among the most famous cultural dances are the Ngajat of the Iban folk, the Hornbill Dance of the Kenyah tribe, the Eagle Dance of the Bidayuh and the traditional Melanau dance known as Alu Alu.
Since the Brooke’s occupation to the formation of Malaysia, the Sarawak flag has evolved so much over the course of years. In commemorating Sarawak Day on July 22, let’s look back at all the flags of Sarawak since Brooke’s time, and uncover the stories behind each one of the flags.
Bidayuh is the second largest indigenous ethnic group in Sarawak after the Iban. The Bidayuh people are also knowns as the Land Dayak. In fact, the name Bidayuh itself means ‘people of the land’.
Many of the traditional instruments of the ethnic groups here are made out of bamboo, which grows abundantly in the forests of Sarawak. It is for this reason that it comes as no surprise why many of the tribes in the Land of the Hornbills play bamboo musical instruments that are in many ways similar in appearance and functionality to one another.
Gawea Sowa or what is more commonly known today as Gawai Dayak has long been an integral part of the culture of the Bidayuh folks. For them, as it is for the Iban and other Dayak folks observing it, Gawai marks the end of the rice harvest season and is held to celebrate a bountiful yield.
On June 1 every year the Dayak people in Sarawak, who are traditionally farmers celebrate Gawai Dayak. It is a day to give thanks to the gods after the rice harvesting season is over.
The Conditioned Movement Control Order (CMCO) certainly is not a stopping factor for the Dayak folks here in Sarawak to get into a full-on Gawai mode. Though there will be no big Gawai celebrations and no ngabang (visiting) this year, many are still preparing to celebrate the coming Gawai Dayak on June 1. But instead of having open house, everyone will be celebrating at home with their family.
Keringkam and Songket are two of the most precious heritages of the Malay community in Sarawak. Painstakingly produced by hand, they fetch high prices and were once worn only by the nobles of Sarawak.
Sarawak has a large collection of traditional clothing, each characteristically unique and remarkable in their representation of the 27 different ethnic groups that live here. Their designs are evocative of the traditions and steep folklores of their wearers, passed on from one generation to the next.
Sarawak handicrafts are justly famous. From ikat weaving to mat-making and basketry, from woodcarving to beadwork, these exquisite products give our State a good name in the world of arts, crafts and material culture.