Traditional instruments (Small gong also known as Tawak)
Bidayuh traditional musical instruments made from shell

For the Bidayuh community, music play an important role in every ritual they perform. Music serves to raise the spirit, drive out evil spirits. Music also plays a role in the motif of a notice of the ceremony conducted. Traditional Music Bidayuh community generally consists of a large gong, cymbal, drumand Tawak (a small gong). There are also other traditional instruments like the flute /reed flute and guitar. But this kind of musical instrument is about playing as a rather complex manufacturing process.


Bidayuh Traditional Costume for men
Bidayuh Traditional Costume for women
Bead necklace for men
Beads necklace for women

The black color is the main color in the application of the Bidayuh community. For women in the Bidayuh community, is a full dress, including short sleeves or halfsleeves and a pair of black sarong knee beads decorated with delicate beads of various colors costume made with a combination of primary colors of white, yellow and red. Half-height with a small lid weave beautiful patterns or a cap of colourful fabric with fine embroidery beads are complementary female headdress Bidayuh community. Men Bidayuh ethnic communities are often wearing black shirts and a pair of partial birth shaped sleeves or short sleeves with a slight pattern of elements of flora and black shorts or loincloth that the basic colour such as blue, red and white. Cain is the complement of head circumference were male headdress this community.


Canon - Meriam - Bedir
Parang - Parang - Buko
Gun - Senapang - Sinapang
Arrow - Anak Panah - Arow
Sword - Pedang - Pedang
Blowpipe - Sumpitan - Sumpit
Knife - Pisau - Pisok
Catapult - Lastik - Setik

Spears, parang ilang (short parang), chopsticks, "jepur" (like samurai) and"rira" (small cannons) are tools commonly used weapon by the community to fight in the days of old. While the shooter as a machete, a hoe and sickle are often used for agriculture.

Basic Conversation

Thank You
Terima Kasih
You're welcome
Samah samah
It's all right. / It's ok
Kai menih menih
Paguh / Baik
Not Good
Kai paguh
Bad - Biek
Delicious - Sidik
I like
Aku suka
I like you
Aku nyuka amu
I like _____(person) very much
Aku nyuka _______ menu menu
Please come in
Merut boh
Please sit down
Ugu boh
* word "boh" is a slang used by the serian bidayuh. Its more like "Lah" in Malay slang. Or in a proper word "Imbuhan" (remuneration) in Bidayuh grammer.

What is your name?
Asih ganan amu?
My name is _______.
Ganan aku _______.
Nice/glad to meet you.
Birangun dapat bidapud dengan amu.
Long time no see.
Tuhai kita anyap bidapud
How are you?
Anih agah amu?
I'm fine.
Aku paguh.
I hope to see you soon.
Harap kita bidapud lagik/bauh.
See you later.
Bidapud lagik matik.
See you tomorrow.
Bidapud lagi pagi.
** Hello/hi is the same. Universal word

Dayak or Dyaks? The origins of the words Dayaks.

  one statement stays in many individuals memory. It was the origins of the words Dayak which not many Sarawakians are even aware of. In modern times, the word Dayak are being used mostly among the Bidayuh to describe ‘Bidayuh people’. ‘Onak Dayak’ usually refers to the children of Bidayuh. As is ‘dayak sok Bau’ which refers to Bidayuh from Bau regions. Though some insisted that all native or indigenous race of Sarawak are called Dayak. Therefore all races should be called Dayak Bidayuh, Dayak Iban, Dayak Kelabit and so on. However, before Borneo became a part of Malaysia, there were only two native groups that was known as Dayak. Land Dayak, which stands for the Bidayuh people who lives mostly on hills and mountains. The surrounding forest provided the livelihood for the people as they hunts animals and plants padi on hilly slopes. The Sea Dayak refers to the tribal warring Ibans who live mostly by rivers or sea and was known to produce salts as part of their livelihood. They are also known to attack other indigenious groups for treasures such as beads and also foods. They are known though to kidnap young children to be made their own. Head hunting also have made this groups notorious during their times. Only during the rule of the White Rajah, the practices of head hunting was considered a crime and it slowly fades in times.

Though as hundreds of years had passed the words Dayak had been accepted as part of the Bidayuh language and many thought that it was originally a native word. The word Dyaks was first said by the English soldier, James Brooke as he saw the indigenious race was similar to a Native American race known as the Dyaks people. As he was given the authority to solve the problems concerning the native people who was giving the Brunei royalty a hard time, he described the two main groups as Land Dayak and the Sea Dayak.

A dying Bidayuh custom-The Priestes

I saw part of the rituals when I was very very young. The part when the old ladies sat at the wooden swings and sangs songs that I could not understand. The old Bidayuh Ladies can predict the weather quite accurately by looking at the moon, the night sky or by listening to frogs or crickets.Or how to camouflage yourself so the river spirit would not disturb you.The spirits that roamed the jungle and how you should not fear them but regards them as human. That means greeting them as you entered their 'homes'.Ages ago, when my ancestors worship a different type of God, a certain ritual were done by selected women or priestess to put up prayers for the well being of the village.Nowadays, only sometime in June during Gawai and selected villages, the rituals are again done by selected few priestess.But unlike before when these rituals are viewed in reverence and maybe a little anxiety, nowadays most of the younger generations viewed it in open curiosity. To be captured by their mobile phones camera and maybe if something interesting happens they could download it on Youtube. With, I think, a little bit of imagination the title would somehow says 'Strange pagan rituals in Asia' or,God forbids,'Sacrificial women in Haiti'.


The baruk's roof peak.
- I would like to show you all how Bidayuh traditional houses look like. These are pictures of the Bidayuh house in Sarawak Cultural Village. Enjoy!

This is the baruk or headhouse. It is mainly a place for ceremonial purposes.

This is the interior of the baruk.

This longhouse is where the villagers reside. It is divided into biliks with a family residing in each bilik.

This contiguous, roofed space which connects all biliks is where socializing between families and communal activities and celebrations are done.

A very nice place to vent off the afternoon's heat.

Grinding rice into flour.

Many Bidayuhs nowadays, however, do not live in longhouses such as this anymore. Many villages are very similar with villages of other communities around the world, with each family having their own house fashioned to their on preferences. However, one unique feature that survived among the Bidayuh house architecture is the presence of a tanju in the compound of their houses.

The tanju is an open wooden platform, usually made of bamboo, about 10 meters wide adjacent to the panggau and joined to all sections within the longhouse to form an unbroken raised platform. Because it is uncovered, the tanju is the main venue on which the paddy, immediately after harvest, is winnowed, sunned and dried before being stored in barkbins (tibang) in the garret.

Individual Bidayuh family houses also have tanju in the compound of their house built either attached to the house or as a stand alone structure. Other than drying paddy, it is also used to dry other agricultural produce such as cocoa and pepper, one of the best agricultural product of Sarawak.