Housewife, Ngawan Anak Inyok from Nanga Sipan, Song tirelessly has been busy making her handmade beads called “Tanguk” for the upcoming Gawai celebration in June.
The making of the tanguk will take sometimes to finish depending on selected patterns. The patterns normally depends on the creativity of the designer.
Colourful decorative ornaments are a must during celebrations such as Gawai among Iban community in Sarawak.
Housewives or the female member of the family normally starts making these ornaments at least few months before the celebration.
Traditionally, it is an accessory worn around the neck during the Gawai celebrations, wedding ceremonies and other special occasions.
The beads tradition among the Ibans goes back to their ancestral history, when they have adorned the chieftains for centuries. In the headhunting days, ornaments and regalia’s were used to honour heads of the slain enemies.
Moreover, in the egalitarian Iban society, the highest prestige in the village went to the men who were the best headhunters and to women who were master weavers.
In fact for the Iban community, the ornaments are used to appease the human and spirit worlds, which makes the weaving process significant in their rituals.