Thursday, February 2

Foundation’s new book features Iban oral literature genres


Photo shows a copy of ‘Rawang Penemu Iban’ (Iban Wisdom).

KUCHING (Aug 2): The Tun Jugah Foundation has published a new book entitled ‘Rawang Penemu Iban’ (Iban Wisdom).

A press statement said the book contains 11 chapters with each chapter carrying several genres of Iban oral literature.

The first chapter deals with Sada Bebuah (poetry), while the last chapter presents Jaku Dalam Bekaling (compound proverbs).

Among the major genres presented in other chapters include ‘biau melah pinang’ (social prayers for wedding ceremony), ‘betusut’ (genealogy), ‘renung besapat’ (song for cleansing a prohibited marriage), ‘jaku ansah’ (narrative of compliments and praises), Jaku Alu Penguji (wise saying about the origin of Iban marriage), ‘bekujuk’ (defence and demolition of ceremonial ‘mosquito-net’), and Geliga Gawai (guidelines or rules governing the behaviours of guests during festivals).

These genres are all delivered in poetic forms of Iban language.

A principal purpose of this book is to capture the loss of the genres due to the onslaught of globalisation and a diminishing number of Iban elders or bardic-priests who are well-versed in these genres of Iban oral literature.

Author Janang Ensiring furthered his education at Asbury University, Kentucky and Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, and Melbourne University, Australia.

Among the principal publications he has authored or co-authored include ‘An Iban Boy: Reminiscences of My Childhood’, ‘Bup Jaku Dalam’ (Book of Proverbs), ‘Bup Sereba Reti Jaku Iban’ (a monolingual dictionary), and ‘A Comprehensive Iban-English Dictionary’.

Attached to the Tun Jugah Foundation as a senior research officer, Janang is also currently chief-editor of ‘Ngingit’, the biannual journal published by the foundation.

‘Rawang Penemu Iban’ will be of interest to folklorists, linguists, students at institutions of higher learning, professors, lecturers, teachers, and the general public who aspire to learn the vast oral literature of the Iban.

Priced at RM60 per copy, the 392-page book can be purchased or ordered from the Tun Jugah Foundation at Level 4 Tun Jugah Building here.

For further enquiries, call 082-239672.

The Tun Jugah Foundation is a stronghold for protecting Iban language and culture from the corrosive onslaught of modernisation and globalisation.