Bidayuh Clothing

Bidayuh Clothing / Costume

Bidayuh Clothing

The attire of the early Bidayuh was made of the soft inner bark of a tree calledboyuh.  Other accessories like bangles and girdles were made from certain parts of plants found in the jungle.  Amulets and charms were also worn for good luck and protection against evil spirits.
The jungle of Borneo, to the early Bidayuh, was their ?Garden of Eden?.  They obtained most of their daily needs from the jungle.  They hunted in the jungle.  They cleared the jungle for farming.  This is a sort of attraction towards the event a reflection of their close relationship with the jungle and its inhabitants.  This is an adaptive strategy or a strategy of survival.

The Bidayuh Selako residents of Kampung Pueh have remained steadfast to their customs which has an indelible impact on their daily lives. Marriage customs are still practised and emphasised despite the changing times. It is not the practice of the Bidayuh Selako society to send a match-maker to seek the hand in marriage of eligible bride. Instead, an engagement ceremony will take place with the consent of both parties concerned where the exchange of rings would be made.

Following the engagement period, a customary wedding ceremony would be held either at the home of the bride or bridegroom depending on the earlier consensus of both families. The bride and bridegroom have to wear the traditional Bidayuh Selako clothes inherited from their ancestors. These clothes are black and white in colour, decorated with beautiful beads. The couple would also be decked with accessories made from beads and copper. Some of the accessories are priceless heirlooms inherited for generations.

The Bidayuh Selako society does not practice the custom of giving dowry. Nevertheless, it is still acceptable for both parties to present dowry as gifts. Unlike other societies, sitting on a bridal dais is not practised by Bidayuh Selako, too. Instead, it is customary for the wedding couple to sit on two pieces of wood known as alu. The wood, of quality hard wood, is cut and designed to form a seat. The newlyweds are not allowed to do any work in or outside the house for a period of three days after the wedding ceremony to prevent untoward incidents.

The Bidayuh Selako society usually volunteers to help their neighbours in any wedding preparation. They put emphasis on the spirit of cooperation and helping each other in any community-related activities held in the village.