Iban pua kumbu – Bali Belumpong Tengkebang design


Design: Bali Belumpong Begambar Tengkebang Orang Gelong Batu Besundang

We call for readers and viewers who are versed with interpreting the design of the Iban pua kumbu. Please post your comments in this blog. Thank you.

Upon request by Vernon Kedit, here are close ups of the design pattern.




Here are some selective comments on the design above. Extract from Facebook.

Gregory Nyanggau:Baka gambar orang pulai ngayau nya …. antu pala begantong kiba kanan … (jngka aku) for enchaboh arong ritual.

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: Enda berani aku komen pasal indu buah mali ba pua tu. Enggai ka alah bulu ka utai ti di intu iya. Enda tau diayan ngapa pua tu. Enda tau enda dipiring.

Jacqueline Selaka: I just remembered my mom told me that when a Pua with less design or pattern…it is one of the highest rank of the Pua. Eventhough the Pua almost look blank without a pattern.

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: Only the weaver knows the ensumbar of the pua. It’s her secret. As for the category, it falls under two categories: Bali Belumpong (see http://vernonkeditjolly.blogspot.com/2009/09/classic-bali-belumpong.html) and Bali Tengkebang. Technically it is a Bali Belumpong with Tengkebang Patterns.

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: Bali Belumpong and Bali Tengkebang are in the high categories, but not the highest. The highest category is pua mali that are reserved and used strictly for Enchaboh Arong (Gawai Mata’, sekali ke tanju) and Gawai Burong – there are altogether a total of nine patterns in this highest category.

This pua as a category is not mali but the patterns on it are mali. Which makes it enda tau diayan sebarang ngapa enti enda dipiring.

Gregory Nyanggau: Top part – belumpong desigh (like stack of wood), 2nd part bali tengkebang (mixed design of various pattern), 3rd The enchaboh arong (receiving heads ritual), Middle part and most fearsome is the nyawa Antu Gerasi Papa with awesome teeth on top and bottom, the lower part are pictures of ladies holding piring, and bottom part are human figures (could indicate captured slaves boys).

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: Uncle Greg, the whole pua is known as Bali Belumpong, as the pua kumbu is sectioned off (lumpong) like logs. Bisi top section (lumpong pun), mid section (lumpong tengah) enggau bottom section (lumpong ujong). The upper top section shows straight lines known as the Bali Kelikut Gajai Langit. Then the lower top section shows an Orang Gelong with a creature, followed by an empty space bordered and guarded by pemucuk rebung (not teeth), and then more straight lines followed by another Orang Gelong (female) surrounded by burong in the upper bottom part. These Orang Gelong (not their real names as I don’t dare to mention their real names) are the actual Tengkebang parts as they are new patterns of how Orang Gelong is being depicted by the weaver. Bottom part or punggang ujong is not slave boys but the fearsome Manang Iling Bekenawing Pending Begerunjong Sanggang who guards the Orang Gelong. There is no Antu Gerasi Papa in this pua because Antu Gerasi cannot be in the same pua with Orang Gelong. They are enemies. The top punggang pun (right at the top) is the Sepit Api, a tool used by the Orang Gelong. This pua is about Orang Gelong doing something, and that is why I am scared to mention their names, enggai ka alah bulu.

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: James, please check with the old folks if this is one of her earliest or one of her latest pua, because in Iban weaving, the Bali Belumpong is normally woven as the LAST piece in a weaver’s “career” when she is of old age. It is NEVER woven when she is young. And only very experienced weavers who have woven many pieces beforehand can weave a new tengkebang. For it to be a Bali Belupong Tengkebang, it has to be one of her final pieces, like a swan song or a masterpiece.

Vernon Kedit-Jolly: Chak Lut, I don’t know the full name or ensumbar of this pua as only your ini wo would know as she created it and named it. It’s her secret, and maybe she told the female members of her family or descendants. Check with the old folks. But if you need a label, then you can call it the *BALI BELUMPONG BEGAMBAR TENGKEBANG ORANG GELONG BATU BESUNDANG* …but don’t say too loudly…anang inggar….just whisper it…

3 thoughts on “Iban pua kumbu – Bali Belumpong Tengkebang design”

  1. I love this site! I’ve been reading up quite a bit on the pua kumbu and come to understand that depending on level of weaver, she can only weave certain designs while the master weaver has a wider repertoire of motifs for her weaving. what i would like to know is which motifs are allowed for which category of weaver? i would be so glad if you could give me a few links that will answer my question. Thanks so much.

  2. Dear James

    I just came across two really wonderful photos of pua kumbu on your blog. They are gorgeous and of such intricate design. Reading about the background was a very interesting and educational experience for me.

    May I have your permission to reproduce these photos (if you have high resolution ones) for a book on the United Nationas Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that I am editing for the Malaysian Environmental NGOs (MENGO)? The book reviews federal and state laws and policies in relation to Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak. If you agree, I will ask MENGO to write to you officially.

    We are in the midst of production so I hope to hear from you soon.

    thanks & regards,
    Eleanor Chen
    Consultant Editor
    EcoLogical footPrints

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