Ngelumbong for Datin Amar Margaret Linggi

Looking back at my previous three post on the condolences for the late Datin Amar Margaret, the third being The Funeral, I have to admit my lack of indepth knowledge when it comes to the Adat Iban or Iban traditional custom especially relating to deaths and remembrances. Being brought up in a semi urban setting ( I would not want to describe myself as a City product) one lacks the exposure to the daily practices and customs in the kampungs (villages).

Anyway, those who are interested in some write ups on the tarditional practices and worships of the Ibans, they may either go to The Majlis Adat Istiadat website, a traditional council set up by the government to ensure that traditions and practices of the different natives are recorded or you can have a quick read of the journal Disrespecting the Dead and the Living: Iban Ancestor Worship and the Violation of Mourning Taboos by Reed L. Wadley "The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 595-610 doi:10.2307/2661150. Click Here for a Page View.

Abstract of reads: Traditional Iban religion revolves around the worship of ancestors and the maintenance of cosmic order through the proper observance of rituals and taboos. Taboo violation is generally met with sanctions said to restore cosmic and social balance and to avert supernaturally-caused misfortune. From the perspective that religious behaviour involves communication among the living within the context of important social relationships, this article examines ancestor worship and the violation of mourning taboos among Iban in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Of particular focus are the social circumstances behind cases of taboo violation and how the breaking of mourning taboos may show disrespect towards the dead and the living. Furthermore, how Iban treat individual cases of taboo violation reveals much about how social relations structure people's interpretations of disrespect.

Okay, we learned a few things today in my blog. Now let's continue.

After the funeral in November, there was a Ngetas Ulit Ceremony on 20th December 2006 - an event that I attended but at that time I remebered my Kodak Easyshare camera malfunctioned so there was not much of the event recorded.

The Ngetas Ulit Ceremony on 20 Dec 2006 - one month after the late Datin passed away. Relatives converge to mark the end of the 30 days period of mourning period

More pictures of the Ngetas Ulit Ceremony

Datuk Sng Chee Hua and Skudan

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Alfred Jabu & my dad was there that night

I was reminded of the Ngelumbong ceremony which will take place on the 20th March 2007. Of course the fist thing that came to my mind was - 'Another ceremony?" The more I looked up what it means the more I understand about Iban Customs - gosh, if I was to be posted outstation in my government service these are the things I would have to understand. When I arrived at Datuk Amar's residence and..... the attendance was something that I had not really expected to see as there was almost a list of Who's Who Iban VIPs there. I had to slip away amongst the crowd as I was not properly attired for the occassion.

VIP List: YB Datuk Patinggi Datuk Amar Alfred Jabu, YB Dato Sri James Jemut Masing, YBhg Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, YB Datuk Joseph Salang, YB Gabriel Adit, YB Jawah Gerang, YB Alexander Nanta Linggi, YB Dr. Stephen Rundi, YBhg Datuk Celestine Ujang, YBhg Datuk Daniel Tajem, YBhg Temenggong Datuk Keneneth Kanyan - to name a few, were at the event

A section of the crowd - mostly family, relatives, and friends

VIP Section (seated) YB Datuk Joseph Salang, YBhg Datuk Amar Leo Moggie, YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, YB Dato' Sri James Jemut Masing

There's a part in the ceremony which is 'muai tebalu'. There's a blog in Iban regarding this entitled Muai Tebalu by Pura. I won't be the proper authority to say about this. To cut the long story short - the YBhg Datuk Amar now (according to the Adat) is already 'single' again but it does not mean that he will let go of his bond with his late wife's family and relatives. They are still considered family. If anyone has a better version please feel free to give it in the comments box.

Clip 'Muai Tebalu' Ceremony

And Then........

Well, I don't see any documentation regarding what kind of drinks should be served during this type of ceremony but I can tell you that I had a good time with what was being served.

And when the person serving you the drinks is your ever friendly Member of Parliament for Kapit YB Encik Alexander Nanta Linggi - how can anyone refuse.... *hic* ...Excuse me.


Anonymous said…
Thanks for Sharing :)
I wanna go for parties like that. Seriously,I want my funeral or memorial service to be filled with fun and booze. Not the crying type coz I want people to remember me and not crying over what they have lost!

Good insight to funeral arrangements!
Lo said…
dear bro desmond

thanks for the update.

may her soul rest in peace

1. YB Linggi is almost drunk, again......
2. and glad to see S"pore's tiger beer is the drink of chocie in Sarawak!
Apai Salleh said…
Daughter of Temenggung Bayang Janting, Head of all Iban in the middle and lower Rejang. Her son, Barieng is Temenggung Bayang's uchu then. Excellent family history, well quoted in a some books if I am not mistaken.

Interesting ceremony. Pity I wasn't there.
Petara Sebayan said…
hey Mr Dangerous variable

Thats not exactly a PARTY
Also not even a funeral
its kinda like POST mourning ceremony
Usually our people (ibans) during a funeral (nyengaik & nganjung antu) there be lots of crying
even they will call a "CRYING" specialist to cry out their sorrow with pantun nyabak (something like that)
Anonymous said…
thakns for sharing..interesting..