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Council for Customs and Traditions

Iban Oral Tradition CollectionIban Oral Tradition Collection


The number of titles for each genre is indicated at the end of the description of the genre.

  • Jerita tuai  -- stories of ancient times, myths and  legends (358 titles).

  • Tusut  -- genealogy, family tree (23 titles).

  • Sampi  -- 1) prayer which may comprise a few words  said to acknowledge an omen, or a poem lasting an hour or more; 2) oratory,  rhetoric (approx. 50 titles).

  • Pengap  -- invocation to deities sung at major  rites (78 titles).

  • Timang  -- songs of praise; invocation poem (20  titles).

  • Ensera  -- epics or sagas sung in poetic language  with explanations and conversations in  prose; any tale told partly in poetic form  as opp. to simple prose tale (99 titles).

  • Renong  -- 1)  narrative sung to embolden men going  to  war; 2) song of entertainment sung at  the  commencement of a long  journey, bejalai (17  titles).

  • Pantun -- 1)  (pantun jako) adage, saying, parable,  simile; 2) impromptu song for  entertainment  (17 titles).

  • Sabak  -- poem of lament for the dead or  lamentation  for the dead (6 titles).

  • Biau  -- ceremonial waving of a fowl (usually a   cockerel) over the heads of guests etc  accompanied by recitation of a sampi.  See  also sampi (6 titles).

  • Ramban  -- love song in poetic from (1 title).

  • Pelian  -- general term for rites for the sick or  healing rituals for the sick performed by  a manang (shaman) (41 titles).

  • Entelah  -- word puzzle; riddle (1 title).

  • Sugi  -- epics associated with deities (10 titles).

  • Pengarap tuai  -- traditional belief system (32  titles).