Also known as: Bidayuh

The term 'Land Dayak' was coined during the Brooke era to describe certain inland peoples of Sarawak who were not 'Sea Dayaks' (Iban). As applied here, Land Dayak refers to speakers of the 15 (according to Ethnologue) Land Dayak languages. Although most Land Dayaks live in Kalimantan, almost all the available ethnographic information on this group comes from Sarawak. Most of the Land Dayaks in Sarawak belong to the 'Bidayuh' subgroup.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1815-1840)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 251-252
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 168
Geddes (1961), pp. 34
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 172
Geddes (1954), pp. 26-27
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 249-251

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 264

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 171-172
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 171-172
St. John (1862), pp. 163-164
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 152-204, 202-204
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
Geddes (1961)

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 251-252

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Absent (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Blevins (2008)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 157-158, 193-194
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 255, 259
St. John (1862), pp. 163-164
Size of largest ritual social group Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 237-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205

Rites

Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 160-165
Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 160-165
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 140-141
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 140-141, 160-165
Piercing Absent from culture (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 140-141
Social Environment +
Population 100,000 (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Pringle (1968), pp. 15
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195-196
Low (1848), pp. 290-299
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 195
Polygamy Monogamy prescribed (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 300
St. John (1862), pp. 142
Marital residence Matrilocal or uxorilocal - with wife's kin (Source)
St. John (1974), pp. 162

Conflict

Conflict between communities of the culture Common, at least every five years (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 212-213, 278
Geddes (1961), pp. 52-53
Conflict with other cultures Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848)
Geddes (1961), pp. 4, 53
Conflict within communities Moderate (Source)
Geddes (1954), pp. 48
Cultural Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Geddes (1961), pp. 3
Distance to African or Asian mainland (km) 612.4 (Source)
Adelaar (1995B), pp. 82
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief Evidence of influence (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 264-265
Cribb (2000), pp. 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 239-277
St. John (1862), pp. 152-205
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848), pp. 265-267, 310
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848), pp. 310
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848), pp. 237-238, 310
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848), pp. 310
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Low (1848), pp. 311

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Low (1848), pp. 195, 310-311
St. John (1862), pp. 202
Metalworking Present (Source)
St. John (1862), pp. 102
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Geddes (1961), pp. 3

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Latitude 0.2 (Source)
Adelaar (1995B), pp. 82
Geddes (1961), pp. xiii
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 110.5 (Source)
Adelaar (1995B), pp. 82
Geddes (1961), pp. xiii
Google Maps (2014)
Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf) (2014)
Island Size (kmĀ²) 755000.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Borneo) (2014)
Maximum elevation (meters) 4101.0 (Source)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Borneo) (2014)
Post Contact History(1840-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 334-336
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Chua (2012), pp. 515
St. John (1862)
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 335

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 334-336
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Chua (2009), pp. 334-335
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 334-335

Economic Changes

Changes in means of subsistence High (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 334-335
Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Chua (2009), pp. 334

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Present and widely used (Source)
Chua (2009), pp. 334
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 162

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Lebar (1972), pp. 195
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Chua (2012), pp. 513
External Links
References
Adelaar, K.A. (1995B). "Borneo as a Cross-Roads for Comparative Austronesian Linguistics". In Bellwood, P., Fox, J.J. & Tryon, D., The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. (pp. 81-102). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Brunton, R. (1989). The Abandoned Narcotic: Kava and Cultural Instability in Melanesia. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Caldecott, J. (1988). Hunting and wildlife management in Sarawak. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.: International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Chua, L. (2009). To Know or Not to Know? Practices of Knowledge and Ignorance among Bidayuhs in an 'Impurely' Christian World. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15 (2), 332-348. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2009.01556

Chua, L. (2012). Conversion, Continuity, and Moral Dilemmas Among Christian Bidayuhs in Malaysian Borneo. American Ethnologist, 39 (3), 511-526. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1425.2012.01378

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (2014). "Kuching". Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/324300/Kuching

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Borneo). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/74286/Borneo

Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sunda Shelf). (2014). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573755/Sunda-Shelf

Geddes, W. R. 1954. The Land Dayaks of Sarawak. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Geddes, W.R. (1961). Nine Dayak Nights. London: Oxford University Press.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1972). Eastern Sumbanese in Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 1: Indonesia, Andaman Islands, and Madagascar. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1975). Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 2: Philippines and Formosa. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Low, H. (1848). Sarawak: Its inhabitants and productions, being notes during a residence in that country with H.H. the Rajah Brooke. London, U.K.: R. Bentley.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Pringle, R. M. (1968). The Ibans of Sarawak under Brooke rule, 1841-1941. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms.

St. John, S. (1974). Life in the Forests of the Far East. Volume 2. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. (First published in 1862 in two volumes by Smith, Elder and Co., London).

St. John, S. 1862. Life in the forests of the Far East. Kuala Lumpur. NY: Oxford University Press.