Iban Tribal Tattoo

Iban is one of many ethnics in Sarawak, Borneo Island. There is one famous thing about Iban which is the tribal tattoo. The favourite one is the ‘BUNGAI TERUNG’ which some people translated it as ‘BORNEO ROSE’ which i cannot figure it out yet.

The meaning of ‘bungai terung’ is life cycle as the tattoo is circle in shape. Few decades ago, Iban tribes used to be headhunters and this is called ‘ngayau’. Therefore, the ‘bungai terung’ tattooed to those who will go hunting (mainly men and warriors). It is believe that the tattoo have a spirit that will guard them. Here are the few samples of the ‘bungai terung’ and other Iban tribal tattoos.

Iban population in Sarawak

The 'bungai terung'

Assorted samples of 'bungai terung'

Iban man with 'bungai terung'

Iban warrior with 'bungai terung'

So, if you are interested in Iban tattoo, do not afraid. Nowadays, there is no more beliefs about the spirit and the tattoo. More commonly, it is used as a symbol of manly and fashion. And to be more specific, Iban are no longer headhunters. They are same with other human beings.

Credits to: Rosetta Pang Lossia and Boy Tattoo

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