Iban Tattoo Meaning: Different Types with Context Read it later

Iban tattoos have cultural significance for Iban people of southwest Asia. The Iban culture uses tribal tattoos to present the significance of the person in society. The Iban people knows as Sea Dayaks from the British and Dutch colonists. The Borneo River and rainforests of the land have significance for their culture. The rainforest is the land with sense forest due to high rainfall and humidity level. The Iban people use various symbols such as tattoos for the life of the person. The Iban tattoos are handmade designs as motifs that are animals, plants, or other mythical designs. So, what is Iban tattoo meaning?

The Iban tattoo is associated with spiritual and cultural connections.  Iban tattoos are holy symbols that give evil spirit protection and God connection. Bungai Terung iban tattoo means achievement, Buah Berinjan Iban tattoo means strength and Pala Tumpa Iban tattoo represents women’s protection or expertise in weaving. Scorpion tattoos in the Iban culture brings warriors protection and violence. 

In this read, we share with you the tribal Iban tattoo, Iban body art history and the modern approach of Iban tattooing. 

Bungai Terung tattoo

The Bungai Terung traditional tattoo is valuable for Iban people of Sarawak. The design of this tattoo is like an eggplant Borneo flower that represents the tradition of Bejalai. Bejalai is the journey of the young Iban man who leaves his house to learn new skills, social representation and become mature. Bungai Terung tattoos are the achievement of a young man who becomes mature. Bungai Terung places on each shoulder of the man that is visible to everyone. 

Buah Berinjan tattoo

The Buah Berinjan design is the lines with curves that represent the protection and strength. The Buah Berinjan tattoo is on hands or arms with a complex appearance. The design of Buah Berjan is inspired by the Creeper Vine plant which has a unique leaf pattern and leaves. 

Kayan tattoo

The other ingenious group of Borneo is Kayan who lives in the Indonesian side of the Island. Kayan people have cultural similarities from the Iban people. Still their body art is different in many ways. Body marking is the tradition of Kayan people with significant differences for men and women tattoos. The Kayan tribe has women tattoo artists that have skill to put complex tattoo designs on the forearm, back, legs and feet of women.  The tattooing pattern of Kayanare Polysemic Kayan symbols  according to researchers. The polysemic means that each pattern has multiple meanings. The younger generation does not follow the Kayan tattooing compared to their ancestors. 

Pala Tumpa tattoo

Pala Tumpa tattoo is the traditional woman tattoo of Iban people. The Pala Tumpa tattoo is on the forearms of the women that means the woman is good at weaving. The Pala tumps means “head of bracelets” that bring spiritual protection to the owner. It increases the beauty of the women with the heritage association and skill achievement.

Sarawak Tribal tattoo

The tribe of Iban and Kayan is known as the Sarawak. The tattooing of Iban and Kayan tribes are the Sarawak tattooing art. The modern approach mixes Sarawak tattooing with other elements. Sarawak is the historical region that you can visit to learn more about traditional body art in Malaysia. 

Borneo Scorpion tattoo

Some Iban tattoos become famous with the name of their land Borneo. The Borneo style scorpion is the scorpion design with the inspiration of Iban tattoo style. The Dayaki warriors have the Borneo Scorpion tattoo for the protection and attack on enemies. The scorpion tattoo on the front neck is considered as threat protection from the axes of the enemies. The Dayaki warriors get the tattoo after cutting off enemies. The fighter who has the Borneo Scorpion tattoo is considered protected in battle.   

Iban Lengan tattoo

The Lengan tattoos are the tattoos on the arms and sleeves. The Iban Lengan tattoos are the Iban designed tattoo on the sleeves or arms. You can prefer the traditional Lengan iban tattoo or add modern elements into the traditional Iban body art. The Iban Legan tattoo meaning depends on the Iban symbol.

Iban Simpai tattoo

According to the Cambridge dictionary, Simpai is the Indonesian English word which means thing rings of metal or wood. Simpai associates with the string bracelets patterns tattoos that inspire from the Iban designs. The Iban Simpai tattoo depends on the type of design patterns that are located at the forearms. 

Pantang Iban tattoo

The Pantang is the tattoo design pattern of Iban people like Iban warriors that use for the creation of different designs by tattoo artists. The Pantang Iban tattoo places on different body parts including threat tattoos. 

Iban Modern tattoo

The Iban youth do not follow the tattoo rituals of their ancestors that results in loss of Iban tattoo culture. There is no extra color add in the Iban tattoo except black pigments. The contemporary Iban tattoo artists add red or green color. The traditional tattooing method of Iban people changes with the modern electric tattoo machines. The Iban traditional tattoo artists have hand tapping technique with a wooden stick and needle. One person designed the tattoo on the body and the tattoo artist put the ink in the design through a wooden stick.