Bedarak: An Iban ethnic customary ritual foreseeing the future using the medium of Pig's Heart.

Apai Janggut leads the Bedarak ritual.

The Iban Dayak community hopes to create a legacy of understanding and acceptance, ensuring that their cultural heritage continues to thrive and evolve in the ever-changing tapestry of human experience.

It is noteworthy that the Iban people are one of the 405 sub-ethnic groups of the Dayak ethnic group. Worldwide, there are approximately 8,300,000 Dayak people.

The Dayak Iban have a strong influence in the culture and history of Borneo

The majority of the Iban people reside in Sarawak, Malaysia, totaling around 900,000 individuals.

The rest are settled in their ancestral lands, known as "menoa diri' empu," or Place of Origin, which in ancient times was referred to as Tampun Juah (as narrated in the Buah Main legend). This region is now recognized as the eastern part of West Kalimantan province, encompassing Sekadau, Sintang, Melawi, and Kapuas Hulu regencies.

The Dayak Iban have a strong influence in the culture and history of Borneo, and they continue to strive to preserve and enrich their cultural heritage for future generations.

The ceremonial of the Bedarak

Bedarak, as it is often referred to, is a customary ritual of the Iban people in Sekadau, Sintang, and Kapuas Hulu, which foresees the future through the medium of a pig's heart.

According to Musa Narang, chairman of the Keling Kumang Education Foundation (Yayasan Pendidikan Keling Kumang), Apai Janggut, the rival of Bandi anak Ragae, from Sungai Utik, is the "spiritual father" of the Geraka CU Keling Kumang who always leads the Bedarak ritual.

Watch the entire Pig Sacrifice Ritual (Iban Dayak) here
Ritual Babi Lemai (Dayak Iban)

Culture enthusiasts from Sekadau Regency along with members of the Borneo Tawak Community eagerly embraced the rare opportunity to document a ritual rich in meaning, namely the pig sacrifice ritual performed by the Iban Dayak tribe.

The pig sacrifice is not just an ordinary animal

In the belief of the Iban Dayak tribe, the pig sacrifice is not just an ordinary animal, but an important symbol that plays a role in seeking good fortune and luck. Here, the pig's heart is used as a medium to express hopes for positive outcomes.

This ritual is not only a hereditary tradition but also an integral part of the culture and identity of the Iban Dayak tribe.

As part of the ceremony for laying the foundation stone of the Cu Keling Kumang Branch Office (BO) Sekadau Bersatu on Monday (3/25/24), the pig sacrifice ritual was carried out with solemnity and honor.

The documentation carried out by cultural enthusiasts and members of the Borneo Tawak Community serves as important evidence of the cultural diversity that must be respected and preserved.

Nurturing and introducing the cultural richness of the Iban people

Through the practice of this intricate and deeply symbolic Iban cultural ritual, the community endeavors not only to safeguard their rich heritage but also to impart its significance to the generations that follow.

With each ceremony meticulously performed and meticulously documented, they weave a tapestry of tradition, ensuring that the threads of their cultural identity remain unbroken and vibrant.

At the heart of this endeavor lies a profound desire to instill in the younger members of the community a profound appreciation for their roots and traditions, nurturing within them a sense of pride and belonging.

By immersing them in the rituals and customs passed down through the ages, elders hope to kindle a flame of cultural awareness that will burn brightly in the years to come.

The power of Iban culture today

Economic and political power may be formidable, but cultural power is eternal. This is understood by the Iban people in such a way that they reassert the relevance of ancestral Iban cultural values, such as communal living, mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual care, and the preservation of clans and ancestral territories, now utilizing intellectual strength and networks instead of physical force.

These rituals serve as more than just a means of cultural preservation; they also serve as bridges connecting the Iban Dayak tribe with the broader tapestry of human diversity.

As they open their doors to outsiders, inviting them to witness and participate in their ceremonies, they cultivate an atmosphere of openness and mutual understanding.

The video complementing this narrative was captured by Mangku.

- Rangkaya Bada

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