Wednesday, October 26, 2005

PUA KUMBU


A strong prominent aspect of the Iban community in Sarawak is the Pua Kumbu. The Iban Pua or Pua Kumbu poses a great deal of significance in all stages of the Iban community's way of life. Sarawak is known for its unique mix of tribal traditional beliefs, cultures and folklore, therefore its' not hard to accept that ancient legends are a vital enhancement behind the story of the Pua Kumbu and how it came to be.


Legend has it, that twenty-four generations ago, Singalang Burong, the God of War, taught his grandson; Surong Gunting the use of the most sacred of all the pua, the Lebur Api, after a era of warfare. It was said that the heads of those who were held captive during the war should be received ceremonially on this cloth, which has to be dyed a deep red colour, and was often woven using a special supplementary weft technique. This pua was woven at Batu Gelong, the longhouse abode of the goddesses of weaving, Kumang, Indai Abang, and Lullong. Indigo (tarum) and other plants used for dyeing were also planted around the longhouse.

The lifestyle and belief system of the Iban community is closely related to the Pua Kumbu. Young girls are taught the art of weaving by mothers and grandmothers alike to produce these pieces of cloth, which plays an integral part of their lives. Rituals and ceremonies will not be completed without the usage of the sacred cloth, the Pua Kumbu. Such rituals include births, marriages, death, fertility, the planting of paddy, and so forth.

The Pua Kumbu is also present during important celebrations such as the Gawai, and soul-searching ceremonies and is believed to be a means of communication between the worlds of the living and the world of the dead. To the Ibans', communication between these two worlds are vital especially for a tribe that reveres its ancestors and spirits of yesteryears to come to play when a serious decision is to be made. Their world is one where remnants of their past ancestors wonder about, where spirits linger and where ancient mythical Gods still rule.

Customarily, the weaver lays out a woven graphic design of the Iban animistic beliefs, the spiritual realm (petara or antu) and the "world view" of life around them such as the trees, animals, insects, jungle life, natural and supernatural life. It was said that the more powerful and intricate the design, the closer it brings the weaver to the spiritual world. Subsequently, the more powerful the portrayal of the design, the greater the danger is to the weaver.

Hence, prayers are recited before the start of every process to safeguard the weaver from harm or sickness they may sustain from the making of the Pua Kumbu. It is said that the weaver will have a mystical experience when it comes to designing the patterns for the Pua, where the design is said to 'transpire naturally' as the weaver begins the process. That is why the making of the Pua Kumbu is considered a religious and spiritual journey and why the sacredness of the process is highly regarded in the Iban community.

Weaving is a means of evaluating status for women in the Iban community. A woman, depending on the use of dye, design and skill, will fit into a certain rank within the community. In order to be a master weaver, a woman has to move up from rank to rank. A good Pua Kumbu is not only a demonstration of her relative success in terms of knowledge and expertise but also the state of her inner self.

Basically, the Pua Kumbu consists of two pieces of cloth joined down the centre, which represents the upper and lower webs from a loom. This is done usually by lacing a stitch. The web threads, which have been tied together in the dyeing process, possess the same but reversed patterns, so that if half a motif comes to the edge of the cloth, its other half completes it when the central joining is made. The Pua is usually fringed at both ends, and to make that possible, a gap must be left in the weaving between the upper and lower 1webs. There are generally one or two rows of coarse twining at the ends of a Pua. This is done so that it gives the pua certain firmness and a good wearing quality to those edges.

The Pua Kumbu has come a long way since its magical and mythical beginnings. Deeply nestled in the jungles of Sarawak, it is here where this beautiful textile started its journey to being showcased at major fashion shows regionally and internationally. A true taste of Sarawak, with deciphering of its legends, its people and its culture, beautifully entwined within its rich colourful threads, the Pua Kumbu has stood steadfastly in the face of modernization proudly holding on to patterns of the past.

Words By: Zushahron Dina Zulkernain of Virtual Malaysia

5 Comments:

At 4:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOA Executive Forum Day Two: Topics
Here's a sketch for my sessions on day two of our upcoming SOA Executive Forum .
Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a no cost site/blog. It pretty much covers no cost related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time, Scott :-)

 
At 4:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

First time writer, long time reader, love the blog. I got it bookmarked.

I thought you'd like to see my information on anti-aging skincare and consumer reports too.

My site is at anti-aging skincare and consumer reports.

 
At 10:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very unique blog you have! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a permanent hair removal site. You can find everything about permanent hair removal as well as information on hair bows, color, extensions, and wigs. Please visit it.
Rod

 
At 10:54 am, Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160416
coach factorty outlet
nike sb shoes
louis vuitton outlet stores
jordan 4
ray ban outlet
rolex watches
coach outlet
cheap jerseys
tod's shoes
coach outlet
kids lebron shoes
ray bans
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet
cartier watches
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors uk
polo ralph lauren
nike air max 90
cheap oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
gucci handbags
michael kors outlet clearance
ray ban sunglasses
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
nike trainers men
michael kors
ray ban sunglasses discount
louis vuitton
coach outlet
hollister outlet
kate spade handbags
ray ban sunglasses
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet
fitflops sale clearance
coach outlet store online
true religion sale
oakley sunglasses
as

 
At 4:31 pm, Blogger yanmaneee said...

jordan 11
cheap jordans
bape hoodie
louboutin shoes
kobe shoes
hermes handbags bag
michael kors outlet
timberlands
nike air max 2018
nike air max 97

 

Post a Comment

<< Home