We are Maori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand and in Dec 2006 we are starting our 10 year round the world trip and our first stop is Borneo.
Having our own culture, we are fascinated about other cultures and are hoping to stay in a longhouse. However, before we do that, we need to know about the Iban culture. We have searched the net trying to get an insight into the Iban culture and have read http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/3409/IBAN.HTM and [url=http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/oldworld/asia/iban.html]http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/ol … /iban.html - what is amazing to us is that alot of what is written on those pages are the same as our beliefs! This has made us even more excited about maybe being able to stay in a longhouse!
Which brings us to our question about gifts. In our culture we have a certain way that gifts are presented and we were wondering if there is a certain way that gifts should be presented?
Most of the sites that we have read that mention giving gifts, do not say how to give them, but finding that there are similarites with our culture already, we thought we should ask as we have certain ways of presenting certain gifts.
We read in another post here about not mentioning food when travelling - that is a great tip for us as we do that alot - especially if we see a fat bird that looks particularly good to eat But because of this forum, we now know not to do that - thank you for sharing this
We have also read that sometimes the locals will do a performance and that the guests should also do one - this is another thing that is the same in our culture and we are so looking forward to seeing a performance of another culture and of course, as we are performers ourselves, we look forward to performing for our hosts, anywhere in the world as we travel
With the longhouse stays, could someone kindly tell us if it is at all possible to help out in the community or is a stay just sort of observing and watching?
Finally, is there anything else that we must know and do? The last thing that we would want to do is offend. We ourselves have hosted travellers from other countries and before they come to stay with us we give them a big list of what to do and what not to do! Some however, don’t take the time to read it and break our rules - we never want to disrespect anyone like that!
Thank you for your time