Iban Longhouse: A Selection of Physical And Spiritual Aspects

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Roland Werner
2013. University of Malaya Press
Softcover, 26.7 cm x 19 cm, 164 pages
ISBN 9789831004272


Iban Longhouse: A Selection of Physical and Spiritual Aspects (part 4) contains three important principles. It demonstrates by way of a three-dimensional computer study the variations of structural design of different types of longhouses and sections into which the “acteurs” of ceremonies and rituals are integrated, to bring their actions to life. Furthermore it describes with detailed illustrations selected pelian and saut-rites A graphic explains the spiritual aspect of the relation between the ritual area, of the messengers (bats / wind), to call for help of manang raja menjaya and selempandai, the “god” who is able to recast the human. A review summarizes concepts of diagnosis and treatment. Another review of composition and structure of acting forces and members in the complex of “holistic healing” complete these comparative studies.


In I991 when Roland Werner introduced the “Culture of Healing in Malaysia Series/Preservation of Culture and Recording of Tradition,” – (sub-series deal with the Malay, Chinese, and the Aborigines and Indigenous Peoples Culture of Healing), he devoted three volumes to the Mah-Meri and J ah Hét Tribes of West Malaysia. In these sub-series there is an example from East Malaysia. He choose the Iban of Sarawak and their manang.

Taking into consideration currently available literature, in particular the Iban Encyclopedia, he has pursued a multi-disciplinary approach in this work, incorporating experimental and comparative studies, special analyses and documentation in the form of detailed, topical diagrams and photographs. The multi-disciplinary aspect is evident in the following list of disciplines and fields covered in the book: human medicine, veterinary medical sciences, anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, botany, zoology, laboratory procedures, physics (to include optics, atomic structures, etc.), mineralogy, magic and superstition, holistic healing, architecture (computer studies), ceremonies and rituals, religion, art, culture, history and geography. These subjects have been enclosed into the four parts.

Editorial review

These four parts describe in physical and psychic depth the culture and beliefs of the Iban people. Although this is an area in which many Malaysian scholars as well as social and political leaders would enter with some trepidation, I consider that this is just the kind of topic that should be given the full value of objective intellectual treatment by members of our extremely multicultural society. Prof. Dr. Dr. R. Werner has devoted more than half of his professional life to the careful inquiry and thorough description of various communities traditions. He has accomplished a colossal task to an extent beyond our expectations. His investigations lead us to areas beyond mundane anatomy and microbiology. His explorations of the spiritual depths of the batu karas and the diagnostic procedures of the pentik should really concentrate the minds of casual readers. We owe a great debt of scholarship to Prof. Dr. Dr. R. Werner. I am proud to have been associated with him for so many productive years. Royal Professor Ungku A. Aziz

Weight 500 g
Dimensions 26.7 × 19 × 1 cm

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