The Foundation’s new book presents the genres of Iban oral literature

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

KUCHING (August 2): The Tun Jugah Foundation has released a new book titled “Rawang Penemu Iban” (Iban Wisdom).

A press release said the book contains 11 chapters, with each chapter containing several genres of Iban oral literature.

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

Some of the main genres presented in other chapters include “biau melah pinang” (social prayers for marriage ceremony), “betusut” (genealogy), “renung besapat” (song to purify a forbidden marriage), “jaku ansah (narrative of compliments and praise), Jaku Alu Penguji (wise saying on the origin of Iban marriage), ‘bekujuk’ (defending and demolishing the ceremonial ‘screen’) and Geliga Gawai (guidelines or rules governing the behavior of guests during festivals).

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

One of the main aims of this book is to capture the loss of genres due to the onslaught of globalization and the dwindling number of Iban elders or bardic priests who are familiar with these genres of Iban oral literature.

Author Janang Ensiring continued his studies at the University of Asbury, the University of Kentucky and Indiana, Bloomington, USA, and the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Among the major publications he has authored or co-authored are “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 fellow, Janang is also currently the editor of ‘Ngingit’, the biannual journal published by the foundation.

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

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

For more information, call 082-239672.

The Tun Jugah Foundation is a bastion for the protection of the Iban language and culture from the corrosive assaults of modernization and globalization.

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