Ngajat Iban: A Traditional Dance of Sarawak, Malaysia

Pages: 2 (671 words) Published: May 12, 2013
The traditional dance (Ngajat Iban)

The Ibans perform a unique dance called the ngajat. It serves many purposes depending on the occasion. During Gawais, it is used to entertain the people who in the olden days enjoy graceful ngajats as a form of entertainment. The origin of this indigenous dance is not clearly known but it is believed to have been in existence along with the Iban tribe since the 16th Century. The Ngajat dance is believed to have been performed by warriors on their return from battles.. The male dancers wear large feathers as part of their headgear, hold an ornate and long shield in their hand with chains, beads and a loincloth called the ‘cawat’. The female dancers have an elaborate headdress, chains, beads and a ‘dress’ that reaches to below their knees with intricate weaving. Traditionally this dance was only performed by male dancers but not anymore.The dance is arranged straight lines and in a circle and does involve dramatic leaps and jumps performed by the male dancers. If the real tradition, the music if we dance ngajat we use the life music which have someone o group who play the music such as gong, Gongs and other ethnic percussion instruments such as the ‘enkeromong’, ‘bendai’, ‘canang’ and ‘dumbak or ketebong’ provide the music. The musicians may be either male oThe pride in knowing how to perform the ‘ngajat,’ the Iban traditional dance must be kept burning among the Iban youngsters. The young Ibans should look back to the days of their parents or forefathers when there was so much pride in knowing how to perform the ‘ngajat’.Ngajat is a warrior dance of the Iban tribe in Sarawak. It is said that ngajat is performed by the warriors upon their successful return, to celebrate their victory in battle. Today, the dance is performed as part of the Gawai Dayak celebrations.

When performing the dance, the male dancers wear a headgear made from the tail feathers of the hornbill (though nowadays most likely artificial feather...
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