For centuries the Iban, a tribe living near the rivers of Borneo, were feared because they practiced headhunting. Today the practice is banned and they now live peacefully as agriculturalists alongside their neighbours. But that doesn't mean they have abandoned all their customs. They are sticklers for etiquette, so never enter a longhouse without permission: always wait to be invited. However, they are generous, hospitable and placid people often keen to show off their traditional dance, music, textile-weaving, blow-piping, fishing and game-playing.
The Iban people live in longhouses which are long, one-story dwellings, covered by a single roof usually woven of fronds from the ubiquitous sago palm. A longhouse can stretch as long as a city block and have five hundred people living in it, or it can house a community as few as a dozen.
The tradition of headhunting has been replaced by berjelai or "journey", where a young man leave sthe community to prove himself in the outside world - returning to community with television sets, generators and outboard motors instead of heads!