The name ‘iban’ is still of uncertain origin. though early scholar regard it as originally a Kayan term, hivan, meaning ‘wanderer’. Other Iban of Sarawak’s First and second divisions used the name ‘Dayak’. Sutlive in his Book, Tun Jugah Of Sarawak – Colonialism and Iban Rensponse, suggest ‘The participation of a few Iban in alliances with Malays for coastal piracy in the nineteenth century led to their being called ‘Sea Dayaks’.
Today, Iban are to be encountered in all of the political divisions of the island of Borneo, but the largest numbers live in Malaysian state of Sarawak. The Iban language is distinct from other bornean languages, and share a limited number of words with Malay.