"Gawai Antu is very significant. Big ceremony and big celebration that require community consensus to hold Gawai Antu, and we give the best of respect. We believe in so doing, the spirits were blessed in eternal resting place. And, in so doing also, mutually, they give us blessings to continue to face all the challenges of life."
Alfred Jabu anak Numpang
Barbara Dubah Jabu
"We are able to tell the world this is what we are all about. It is not just a merry making, but also to respect the unseen – our ancestors and spirits that we owe to. Because we are so close to nature, everything is so monumental to our culture. We co-depend on each other. Nothing more than respect."
Temenggong Richard Mulok anak Entring
"The tuak that we bring, according to the wording of the chanting, is the tuak brought by the dead people from Sebayan. That is why the person who is asked to drink the tuak must have killed people. Otherwise, he will be defeated by the power of the tuak that is brought over by the dead people from the other world."
"The Lemambangs (Bards), without the people chanting, there is no meaning in the tuak that the Bujang Berani drinks. Without the lady doing the anyam (weaving), without their skills, the thing will never get done."
Gerald Rentap Jabu
"I am the way I am today because of my ancestors, how they have guided us. My great grandparents, they were always role models. They pass their strengths and teachings to their children, and their children pass it to their children. I am what I am because of them. So, Gawai Antu is the final send off to say ‘Thank You’ to them for giving us.”
Umang Nangku Jabu
Jennifer Bermas Jabu
"It is the highest send off you could ever give anybody in the Iban culture. Because we live in a community, community is so close together. This is what we do for one another. You don’t see this as much in the western civilisation because everybody is happy to be in their own plot, own homes, own suburban homes where they don’t really have a community connection. But here, in the jungles of Borneo, we live like this."
“I was in the army for 32 over years. It involved a lot of experiences in battles. The tuak that was given to me symbolise in respect of those who have died. Therefore, I am the appropriate person responsible to drink the tuak."
Mejar Riman anak Bugat
"One longhouse is one mind and one spirit. Anything we do, we must do it together.”
Temenggong Nunong anak Dandan
"In accordance to our Iban culture, if the order and preparation for the Gawai Antu is incomplete, that means taboo.”