Saturday, July 19, 2008

Long House: Head hunting

The ibans have been always been notorious for head hunting, a custom which is now been eradicated. It was essentially a religious practice, the ibans seeking a consecration for every important event's of his life by the acquistion of one or more skulls.

The young man is not admitted to full tribal rights, nor can he woo a bride with any hope of success, until he has a skull or more to adorn his hut: a chief's authority would not be acknowledged without such trophies of his prowess.

The strictest rules govern head hunting; a period of fasting,of isolation in a taboo hut, precedes the expedition, for which the iban clothes himself in the skins of wild beast. The ibans prefers the head of a fellow tribesman and the hunt is usually one of ambush rather than of open combat. Skulls those of enemies are held in great veneration.


The Natural State Hawg said...

And here, folks, it what makes blogs such an addictive and nifty thing. Where else could you go to find an abbreviated rundown on fascinating topics such as headhunting?

Creepy stuff, but intriguing.

Enjoying the blog, man!

The Natural State Hawg

Aunt_Evie said...

There are also tribes in Papua New Guinea that head hunt, though they use it more for fellow tribesman that they consider to be evil or something like that.
I watched a show where they were trying to save some boy from being eaten, but the boy considered it a privilege.
Only going from memory, but yeah, they are still out there!! ;)

Mila Cross said...

I like your blog, very thoughtful and cultural. The headhunting topic is interesting, never heard anything like that before! - I enjoy learning about new cultures. Oh my aunt evie what show was that? Wow =0



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