The Iban Traditional Religion: Miring

  • Bibiana Motey Bilon Senang
  • Noria Tugang

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss about the offering ceremony, which is one of the traditional cultures performed by the Iban in Sarawak. Miring is performed to give honor to their Gods (Petara), Holy Spirit (Orang Panggau & Bunsu Antu) and souls of their dead ancestors (Petara Aki-Ini) whom they invited to their various festivals. If the supernatural is not fed, they will not obtain the necessary kindness in which will cause disaster. The arrival of Christianity led to the fact that almost all the Iban left their pagan religion. At the same time, the Iban community today is less aware of the offering ceremony procedure. Fieldwork was carried out at several locations in Saratok, Betong, Sarawak. The data are collected through participant observation technique and through face-to-face interview with the informants. The interviewed informants were selected based on their expertise in the origins, customs and cultures of the Iban community. Results show that not all of the Iban perform the miring ceremony. Lack of ritual specialists and conversion to Christianity among the Iban are the causes of this ritual to be less performed. The Iban community today faces many challenges in maintaining and practicing the traditions inherited by their ancestors. Even though there are changes and differences of miring performed by the Iban community in Sarawak, their aims and needs remained the same, and that is to beg for the gods’ protection and avoid unwanted or bad thingsto happen.

Published
2018-08-13