Exploring the rich tapestry of Iban lifestyles in Sarawak

SARAWAK, Malaysia's largest state, unfolds as a vibrant celebration of diverse cultures, where 27 ethnic groups converse in a large mix of languages and dialects, each echoing unique stories, beliefs, and traditions. Among these ethnic tapestries, the Iban people, the largest ethnic group in Sarawak, stand as custodians of a rich heritage that marries ancient customs with contemporary life.

Once known for their legendary headhunting practices, the Iban people have transitioned from a feared warrior tribe to a community preserving their customs, art, and culture. The Iban lifestyle, deeply rooted in the dense rainforests of Sarawak, invites travellers to step into their world through immersive experiences that unveil the layers of this unique heritage.


Embark on a boat ride into the lush rainforest, navigating rivers to reach the heart of Iban settlements. Join the Iban on hunting and fishing expeditions, where the rhythmic pulse of life in the rainforest becomes palpable. Participate in age-old practices as you try your hand at catching and cooking meals, forging a connection with traditions that have withstood the test of time.

Immerse yourself in the authentic Iban lifestyle through longhouse experiences scattered across Sarawak. These traditional communal homes, led by a Tuai Rumah (head of the house), offer an intimate glimpse into Iban daily life. Welcomed with warmth, visitors are treated to traditional performances, storytelling sessions, and culinary delights sourced from the untouched rainforest.

Expect evenings filled with tales of legends and folklores, complemented by sips of Tuak, an alcoholic beverage brewed from glutinous rice and yeast. Join the Iban on hunting expeditions, where you can participate in preparing and cooking meals using time-honoured techniques, creating an unforgettable dining experience.


For a comprehensive exploration of Sarawak's cultural kaleidoscope, the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong stands as a microcosm of the state's ethnic richness. Awarded for its authenticity, this living museum encapsulates the lifestyles of major ethnic groups, including the Iban, Bidayuh, and Orang Ulu.

Tour the nine replica buildings, each representing a major ethnic group, and engage with storytellers in traditional attire, narrating the intricacies of their cultures. The village hosts multicultural dance performances, craft lessons, and traditional weddings, providing an immersive encounter with Sarawak's cultural mosaic.

In exploring the Iban lifestyle, visitors become participants in a living heritage, where traditions echo through dense rainforests, longhouses, and cultural villages. Sarawak's largest ethnic group invites all to unravel the layers of their customs, ensuring that the threads connecting ancient practices to modern living remain unbroken. Discover the heart of Sarawak's cultural identity in the warmth of Iban hospitality and the timeless rhythms of their daily life.

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