Kayau Indu and the Iban’s women social status (Ranking)

We’d all known that the Headhunter bravery (head count) and the numbers of tattoos (design) place them in a higher rank of their society. 

          But, do you know how to determine the social status of Iban’s women? – A Head Hunter for man, and a Weaver for woman. Great combination isn’t it? Indeed!

          Iban weaver’s competence and skills place her in her community. I will explain and elaborate the meaning behind the title of Iban’s women according to their rank in the community.

1. Indu Takar Indu Nyar
A competent women, and a women who know how to mix and to use the vegetable dyes successfully – For Pua Kumbu.
          The whole dye-process is called ‘KAYAU INDU’ or Warpath Of The Women; thereby stressing the important that weaving and dyeing is for women in the Iban Society – Just as Headhunting is for men!
          Only those who ranked Indu Takar Indu Nyar will involve in the process of ‘Nyangkah Antu Pala’ ritual – Welcoming home the Headhunter’s

2. Indu Nengkebang Indu Muntang
A women who produce her own design (Many believes that the idea of the design came from the God/Spirit who spoke to them through dream – Kenyap/Mimpi)
          She has tattoos on her fingers and wear a porcupine quil with cotton strand. 
          For the omen design of pua kumbu which portray a design of ghost/spirit (Antu Gerasi) for example can only started by these group of lady, before the rest complete them. This is done as a precaution to overcome the bad luck (Alah Bulu).

3. Indu Sekat Indu Bebat
A skillful weaver, but they’re not producing their own design, and not allowed to weave certain omen design as I mention above.

4. Indu Temuai Indu Lawai
Some called them Indu Asi Indu Ai – a good hostess homemaker.

5. Indu Paku Indu Tubu
An ordinary housewife

          The women who falls into the top 3 categories and her status is accordance to her in the “Adat Mati” or obituary according to the “Adat Tusun Tunggu”. The “Adat Tebalu” given to the husband of a weaver is also higher than that given to the husbans of an ordinary Iban women. 


Kitai Iban sigi patut bekunsika buah penemu ti manah enggau pangan diri, baka ke beduaka lampang rusa, bebagika lampang babi, ngenjuk lampang pelanduk, betetakka lampang bayak. Ngambika utai ti berat tau nyadi lempung, utai simpi tau segala, utai bingkuk tau lurus. Bekunsi kitai buah penemu ti manah enggau pangan diri ngambi ke bansa kitai tau pegari ditemu dunya, bediri sama tinggi, duduk sama pemaruh enggau bansa bukai. - Nadai salah mejah seruri, sigi endang dianti-anti. :)

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