2-day Iban Cultural Heritage Symposium and Expo 2024 to kick off on June 24

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. (file photo)

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, June 11: The Dayak Cultural Foundation (DCF) will host the two-day Iban Cultural Heritage Symposium and Expo 2024, beginning on June 24.

DCF chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Deputy Premier of Sarawak, stated in a press release that approximately 200 people are anticipated to attend, including state-wide non-governmental organisations, politicians, and heads of government departments.


“The event, under the chairmanship of Prof Dr Nelson Ilan Mersat of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), will be held at the Dayak Cultural Foundation Building at Ong Tiang Swee Road here.

“The theme is ‘Reta Tengkira Lanting Bansa’ (Our Heritage, Our Identity),” he was quoted as saying.

Uggah went on to say that the objectives are to discuss the importance of cultural heritage preservation and the significance of safeguarding cultural assets.

“We want to provide a platform for dialogues and exchanges of ideas on contemporary cultural issues and challenges.

“We also aim to showcase the wealth and diversity of Iban cultural heritage, and to encourage a sense of ownership and responsibility towards their heritage,” he added.

The DCF chairman also stated that the event would include four components: paper presentation and panel discussion, demonstration, exhibition, and the ‘Ngabas Ai’ special programme.

Uggah also mentioned that the experts would present five papers during the paper presentation and panel discussion.

“Additionally, there will be two panel discussions to dwell on the Pua Kumbu and Iban heritage in general.

“The panellists are cultural experts and cultural enthusiasts. The first panel will touch on the use of native designs for modern usage. The other one will be centred on the theme ‘Reta Tengkira Lanting Bansa’ (Our Heritage, Our Identity),” Uggah remarked.

In the meantime, Uggah stated that the demonstration would highlight the art of weaving Pua Kumbu (Ngebat, Nyungkit, and Ngarap), Beranyam (mat weaving), and Iban tattooing.

He further stated that traditional clothing items such as ‘Sungkit’, ‘Kebat’, ‘Pilih’, ‘Karap’, ‘Subak’, ‘Gagong’, ‘Ngepan indu’, and ‘Ngepan lelaki’ as well as war machetes will be displayed at the exhibition.

Uggah also highlighted that the special ‘Ngabas Ai’ programme will involve some 19 top rice wine or ‘tuak’ brewers.

“They represent 10 different regions such as Kota Samarahan, Kuching, Sri Aman, Betong, Saratok, Kanowit, Sibu, Julau, Kapit, and Bintulu.

“They will showcase their respective ‘Tuak’ production, which will be available for sampling,” he remarked, adding that the exhibition and demonstration will be open to the public.

“It is our hope that the Iban Cultural Heritage Symposium and Expo 2024 will serve as a platform for fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, promoting best practices, and advocating for the protection and appreciation of our cultural heritage,” Uggah added. — DayakDaily