THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE IBAN ETHNIC: MARRIAGE
This ethnic is the biggest in Sarawak. They hold on to customs, among them is marriage of which is special to this community.
Begins with the custom of enquiring, known as berbunga-bunga or berjarum-jarum literally translated as flowery or nedling;, followed by engagement.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The wedding ceremony, called melah pinang, begins with the groom in the Iban traditional attire being paraded in a procession by vehicle or boat to the bride house, accompanied by gong beatings. Their arrival is marked by a gun shot. The bride entourage bathes in the river together with the groom entourage as a mark of a new relation between the groom entourage and that of the bride.
The wedding ceremony begins with a discussion at the living area with toddy served. The bride requests for a dowry, the value of which depends on the villagers. Others may include:
1. An axe as payment for breaking the staircase
2. A spear as payment for opening the door
3. A sword as payment for opening the mosquito net
4.Other appropriate payments
The cutting the betel nut ceremony determines the duration of the couple marriage. The nuts are then distributed to the guests. The wedding ceremony is considered over, only left with the sitting on the dias ceremoy in the evening.
If there is any wrongdoing or mistake during the wedding ceremony the newly-wed couple bathes in the river to cleanse. They are also requested to hold a piece of cloth seven yards long so that the mistake of each individual is forgone.