Designing Lun Bawang Traditional Game

On the previous post, I have received a lot of positive responses and great ideas on designing traditional games for the Lun Bawang Festival. Check out the comments and share your ideas if you haven’t do so.

The Culture of Lun Bawang – In the Old Days

Lun Bawang Warrior DanceAs I have studied the comments in the previous post, it was clear that the Lun Bawang doesn’t have much traditional games. Maybe it is because of the culture itself, to the Lun Bawang work is more important – hunting, farming, and collecting firewood for male; Cooking, farming, pound paddy and doing house chores for female – a hardworking person was highly reputed amongst the community. This will certainly improve their resume for marriage!

On the other hand, during the Brooks reign, Lun Bawang was infamously regarded as the fiercest tribe in the land of Borneo. They are often engage in combat and warfare (headhunting) amongst other tribes and of course amongst themselves too – the other Lun Bawang Clans. But then these warriors are highly regarded as heroes amongst their own clan or long house community. Bringing back their enemies’ head indicates their bravery, a display of manhood.

Based on the above statements, we have an overview of the culture of the Lun Bawang tribe. The traditional game will be constructively design according to the traditional culture. The Lun Bawang are basically agricultural oriented and almost all the activities evolve around the cultivation of paddy. Other than that, the Lun Bawang are also active in hunting. So therefore, games will be designed according to these two activities. Well, no worries, headhunting won’t be part of the game.

Young Lun Bawang Warriors and Maiden

Idea of the Game Plan – Lun Bawang Warriors and Maidens

The reason behind why we should introduce traditional game into Pesta Lun Bawang is to promote and educate the younger generation, the general public and tourists about Lun Bawang rich cultural history.

The finale of the Irau is the beauty contest – Ruran Ulung (Ladies) and Padan Liu Burung (Men). The challenge here is, instead of just showcasing traditional costumes and finery, it would be much more interesting and challenging for the participants if they are to compete in traditional games beforehand.

Here’s a brief overview of the game system.


In tradition, the Lun Bawang has a very strong clan identity. Therefore to make the game more interesting, a clan system is applied. These are the list of the 12 competing clans – Lawas, Lawas-Damit, Trusan, Limbang, Ba’ Kelalan, Long Semadoh, Miri, Bintulu, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, and Indonesia. Each clan consists of three participants – 2 warriors and 1 maiden.


Players will have to compete through stages which are directly related to the traditional Lun Bawang lifestyle.

4 stages for the warrior’s category – Farming, hunting, obstacle course, and beauty contest.

3 stages for the maiden’s category – Farming, *maybe cooking traditional delicacies and beauty contest.


  1. Game is open ONLY for Lun Bawang. Mixed blood Lun Bawang are also welcomed.
  2. Participants must be 18 years old and above and are only eligible to participate the competition twice.
  3. Participants are required to wear traditional costume during the whole process of the game.
  4. The game will use point system, the one with the highest score in the end of competition wins the Padan Liu Burung or Ruran Ulung title.
  5. The game will be race-like competition but with time limit, rules defers from game to game. The rules on each particular game will be explained and clarified in the coming post.

This is just a brief idea from me on the Lun Bawang traditional game plan. Maybe you would like to add in more particulars that should be included in this game plan, please feel free to drop a comment below. I really appreciate your feedback.

You may also like...