Sarakup’s second President, Madam Julia Linang carried out the good work between 1959 to 1961. At about this time, through the activities carried out in the rural areas, Sarakup branches began to develop in out-station areas. The ‘Baju Modern’ was also introduced around this time because the traditional costume was too elaborate, and not practical for formal functions especially for Iban women. The ‘Baju Modern’ is a practical and authentic ‘Half-Dress’ version of the traditional costume. It consists of a sash (selampai panjai) wrapped crosswide fashion over the chest and tucked-in at the back, and a long woven skirt (kain panjai) and with some silver accessories to wear with the costume. 

In 1961, Mrs Tra Zehnder (Dato Sri) represented Sarakup at Simanggang Adat Law Conference. Its proceedings were eventually published in 1963 as “Sarawak Dayak Adat Law” which became the basis for the

30/05/76 – Central Padang Kuching for Pre- Gawai Celebration

present Native Customary Law.

One of the first projects in 1962 was fund raising for the victims of a flood in Limbang. Madam Gladys Janting was the president at that time and they handed more than a thousand dollars to the Relief Committee.

The idea of a Gawai Dayak was first initiated by several Dayak representatives on 1957, but effort to persuade the Colonial Government to make official Hari Gawai Dayak were not entertained. However, Mrs Tra Zehnder who was by then the president, was determined and fought hard for Gawai Day. Finally, Hari Gawai Dayak was gazetted on 25th September 1964.

Previous                                                                                                                 Next