Skip to main content

Iban Ways: Ritual to make peace with spirits

Rituel spirituel traditionnel des Dayak




January 2020



  • Culture
  • Indigenous Made Film
  • Indonesia
  • Uncategorized
  • Uncategorized
  • youth

Sickness regularly struck a family in the Dayak Iban community of Sungai Utik in West Kalimantan. After speaking to the local shaman the community made ‘bedara’ an offering and  pardoning ritual to divert the spirit path that ran beneath the family’s house that was making them sick. 

Apai Gajah talks us through the different steps of the ritual as we watch the community come together for ‘bedara’. The family have had no health complaints since.

Indigenous communities have a close connection to the land including spiritual beliefs that often mean they don’t see nature as a resource to be commodified.

Related profiles


  • Profile

    Kynan Tegar is a young filmmaker. He is Dayak Iban from Sungai Utik, West Kalimantan. He is home schooled and makes films. Since finish...g.

Related films

  • Film
    12:27 mins

    This ritual starts with one of the elders of the long house, deep in the jungle searching for the majestic call of the White-rumped shama or locally known as the Murai Batu. This tradition is called “Baburung” only after they have finished Baburung, can they start “Mali Umai”, an Iban ceremony that is done so […]

    UncategorizedIndigenous Made FilmIndonesia
  • Film
    7:22 mins

    The indigenous people of Sungai Utik, a Dayak Iban community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have maintained a strong traditional connection to their forests despite continuous pressure from logging and palm oil companies intent on taking their land. Their forests remain intact and their traditional values are keeping their community together. If we want to keep […]

    Indigenous SolutionsIndonesiaUncategorized
  • Film
    25:00 mins

    A documentary that explores the connection between the Dayak Kenyah of North Kalimantan and their ancestral lands deep in the heart of the original forests of Borneo. A personal journey as Philius makes his way back to pay respects to his mothers grave. A key message in the film is the connection of the indigenous […]

  • Film
    2:50 mins

    For generations, honey has been collected by the community in the Mutis-Timau forest landscape in West Timor, Indonesia. Every year, community members travel great distances back to their sacred homeland when nature signals it is time to collect the honey. Combining traditional and religious beliefs, the people sing to the bees and pray for a […]

    Indigenous Made FilmIndonesiaSustainable Agriculture
  • Film
    9:28 mins

    Terra do Meio in it’s fifth year brings together indigenous and local communities. The network of cantinas is able to supply traditional produce from the Amazon in a way that supports local communities and protects the forest. The Xipaya, Curuáya, Xikrin, Yudjá and Arara peoples joined by the banks of the Rio Xingu Extractive Reserves, […]

  • Film
    6:06 mins

    Reclaiming and strengthening indigenous culture is vital to maintaining ancestral connections to nature. This must be passed onto future generations by celebrating indigenous traditions. Embera youth are spearheading a cultural revival, after decades of assimilation, through traditional body painting and storytelling. Meanwhile sustainable community forestry initiatives are creating low impact income for communities that rely […]