Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Melanau Seduan Traditional Marriage - Part 2

Ric family and friends from Spain

Continue on my second part of melanau seduan/nangka marriage custom, this is the last part of the ritual where the married couple need to cross the other side of the river to get rid of bad luck for the newly wed.
After the luncheon, we all went across the river via Igan Bridge. In the late 60’s or 70’s, the only modern transportation that can be used either using the penambang or we called it kapal tut tut (a small ferry at Jackfruit Village which connecting Sg. Bidut with Sibu town) or using own sampan. Even nowadays, the kapal tut tut still operating with RM0.50 for bicycle and pedestrian and RM1.00 for motorbike.
My uncle explain the ritual to the crowd.

That day, we use our own car and it was my 2nd time drove my uncle precious Pajero in my life. My uncle does not let anybody to drive his pajero unless necessary. The big group had depart early than us and as I was about to go with my wife, the elders ask me to ferrying the small kid with me and ask my cousin say use his dad pajero. I was reluctant but since need to carry more than 4 passengers, so I take my chance to drove the forbidden Pajero. All of us inside the Pajero were 8 of us and all the way across the river; the sound of kids is like in a school bus.
Finally, we arrive at the location and disembark from the car. Most of the family were there beside the road and had cause some traffic congestions as most as the passer by stop and asked what happen as seing a lot of ang mo beside the road.

My uncle waiting for the group to be ready

The crowd

My uncle, Penghulu Sahari perform the ritual of the cleanses. During my wedding, he also did the ritual for me and my wife but not in a big group. As I’m eager to learn more about the ritual, I decided to follow my uncle and to find the materials for the ritual.

walking along the path

Selecting the leaves

Only particular leaves been taken.

My uncle told me, that only selected leave from particular tree which grow near to river is use in this ritual. The number of leaves needed is seven leaves. My uncle gone through the bushes and select the leaves while I capture few shot of him selecting the leaves. Once the leaves been selected, the next task was to find soil. Although there were soils everywhere, he told me that need to find soil that green leave grows. As most of the area had been sprayed with weed killer, we walked till we reached near to the river bank and my uncle decide to collect the soil from there. Only a bit of soil been use and were place inside a brass bowl together with the 7 leaves and 3 nails.

Selecting the soils

Only a bit of soils been taken

The 3 iron nails inside the brass bowl.

My uncle than ask for the newlywed to bite on the nails which to strengthen their minds and souls. Once bitten, the nails later will be thrown in the middle of the bridge into the river. The leaves and soil, the newlywed need to take shower with it once return home.

My uncle explaining each of the items been use for this ritual.

My uncle ask my cousin to bite on the iron nail.

Both biting the iron nails and been put back in the brass bowl.

We were having fun that day and I learned more on my Melanau roots. Those passengers who with me that day need to return back to the village as one of my niece is restless. We didn’t joined the rest of the group to the longhouse at Bukit Aup and Bukit Aup Park after the ritual. But we were having fun in the pajero on the way back home where I drove 2 rounds rides around the roundabout and cause the kids happy.