Ngayau is traditional Dayak tribes who inhabited the island of Borneo , Dayak both living in West Kalimantan and other Borneo. Tribe Iban and Kenyah tribe are two of the Dayak tribe that has customary Ngayau.In the true tradition Ngayau, Ngayau not be separated from the victim’s head man of the enemy.The most popular image of Borneo all these years was associated with head hunting (Ngayau). Bock’s work, The Head Hunters of Borneo , published in England in 1881 greatly contributed to the creation of Dayak image as “people head hunter”.
The practice of head hunting is one form of complex social behavior and has provoked the emergence of a variety of explanations of various authors, both from the “explorers” as well as academics. For Ngaju Dayak tribe in Central Kalimantan , for the sake of ceremonial tradition mengayau Tiwah , which is the largest sacred ceremony of Dayak Ngaju to usher the soul or spirit of man who died towards the sky to seven (Riwut, 2003: 203).According to the Width (1972: 171), among the Kenyah, headhunting is important in relation to Mamat, namely cutting the party’s head, ending a period of mourning and accompanies initiation ceremonies to enter the system status stratified, hostile, to the soldiers of war.
Hunters who had right to wear head gear panther in his ears, headdresses of hornbill feathers, and a tattoo with a special design .. The attacks carried out by the head hunter of small groups consisting of ten to twenty men in man who moves quietly and suddenly.They are very concerned about omens, especially birds.Once used in ceremonies Mamad, heads hung on the porch of the long house, with rooms facing the middle of the head of the longhouse residence.In the past of the Dayak Kenyah were reported as the most famous head hunters in Borneo.Like the Dayak Kenyah, Iban Dayak tribes also conduct headhunting ritual called Gawai.The ceremony is not only religious, but also involves a massive party with a drink and have fun (Width, 1972: 184).
Miller is an explorer, for example, wrote in his Black Borneo (1946: 121), states that the practice of head hunting can be explained in terms of supernatural powers which by the Dayaks believed to exist in the human head.For the Dayak people, a human skull that has been dried is the most powerful magic in the world.A decapitated head of the newly powerful enough to save the entire village from the plague.A head that has been laced with herbs when manipulated appropriately strong enough to produce rain, increasing rice yields, and cast out demons.If it was not strong enough, it’s because his strength was fading and needed a new skull.Meanwhile, Mc Kinley headhunting ritual describe it as a process of transition, in which people who used to be enemies become friends by integrating them into the everyday world.
There may be a question, in the tradition of such Ngayau why should the head and not the parts of the body are taken.Mc Kinley argues (1976: 124), the head was chosen as a fitting symbol for these rituals because the head contains elements of the face, which in a way similar to the social value of personal names, is the most concrete symbol of social identity (social personhood).This self-identity in turn is the most human of attributes belonging to the enemy and thereby become attribute that must be claimed by a community of itself.
In his study of the Dayak Iban, Freeman said that merely symbolic head of the hunt associated with fertility.Parallels between human head and fertility is something that is central in discussions about the practice of head hunting.Freeman says (1979: 234), the culmination of extraordinary allegory that became the central head hunting in the ceremony conducted by the Iban people are when it hum by shamans of the reader spell, performed by the prospective hunter’s head, is a ritual known as Ngelampang literally chop or cut into small pieces.Inside the allegory is presented a graphic description of the ritual of splitting the artificial head or nutmeg enthusiasm by a Lang Singalang Burong the Iban god of war.Lang perform this ritual (something that symbolizes the actual beheading enemies) with one swipe sword (saber) was doing very quickly, and from it flowed head dibelahnya seeds when ditaurkan will result into a body of men.
Not all of the Dayak tribe in Borneo apply Ngayau Tradition.Just as the Dayak Dayak tribe Meratus Maanyan and, in their customary no Ngayau term, but based on the story of the tetuha their custom, when the war first time the knights and Dayak Dayak Maanyan Meratus in the head while fighting enemy leaders who serve the target them.If the boss had their heads cut off, then the soldiers will soon capitulated.Head of the enemy leadership rather than as a complement to traditional rituals, as was done Dayak Kenyah, Iban and Ngaju, the head remains buried with his body.Although the tribe Dayak Meratus and Maanyan not apply Ngayau tradition in their customs, but they maintain that the human head has a significance that is the head of the top (high) in the human body and having one’s status symbol.