Death Ceremony of Dayak Maanyan tribe  | Central Borneo Tourism Information
Thursday May 23rd 2019

Death Ceremony of Dayak Maanyan tribe

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This funeral is a Kaharingan religious heritage  embraced by most  dayak Ma’anyan in antiquity time

Dayak Ma’anyan , like many other dayak’s sub tribe was originally practiced the old Kaharingan religion, which is the form of ancestor worship, mixed with animism elements, that to date are strongly influence the culture inherited to new generations that pratices Samawi religious (mostly Christians and Catholics).

In many areas, the Christian and Catholic missionaries reached inland villages and hamlets in 1970, therefore, previously, most of the Dayak Maanyan in Five Continents ( Banua Lima ) in remote areas practiced Kaharingan , that by the time by the government was “forced” into Hindu Kaharingan.

Therefore, some Dayak Maanyan death ceremonies are a cultural heritage imbued with Kaharingan Religion embraced by  Dayak Maanyan’s ancestors.

Basically, in law, indigenous Dayak Maanyan divided into three regions of customary law ,namely  Banua Lima region, Paju  Ampat and Paju Sepuluh with a various funerals forms . This article is about the Funerals ceremony in  Banua Lima.

The Dayak Maanyan used to illustrate that death is a beginning of movement of the spirit (adiau or amirue) to the

glory of the new world (tumpuk adiau) a lush, peaceful, serene, rich where there is perfection, health, ageless and eternal life . A Belian (shaman) of the dead (wadian matei)  describe amirue/adiau will delivered to tumpuk janang jari, kawan nyiui pinang kakuring, wahai kawan intan amas, parei jari, kuta maharuh, welum sanang, puang mekum maringin, arai hewu. (Spirit of the deceased will be guided by the shaman in the journey to the place / a lush village , a verdant and beautiful coconut and areca , studded with diamonds and gold, a fertile rice, delicious food, live well, stay healthy and happy).

Basically, the Ritual of the death is a series of ceremonies ranging from death to several ceremonies to take adiau / spirit into Tumpuk adiau / the afterlife.

Here are the list of the ceremonies :

  1. Ijambe (pronounce : Ijamme’) , is funeral ceremony which basically is burning the bones of the dead. Implementation of the ceremony takes ten days ten nights. and requires a very large cost, with animal sacrifice such buffaloes, pigs and chickens. Because of the high cost, this ceremony is conducted by a large family and for some people (already dead bone) from several families.
  2. Ngadatun, this funerals reserved for those who died and killed (not natural) in the battle ,for the leaders or prominent people. The ceremony takes seven days and seven nights.
  3. Miya, Membatur (fix tomb) ceremony, the ceremony takes five days and five nights. Graves decorated and through this ceremony the family  can “send” food, clothing and other necessities to the “adiau” has died.
  4. Bontang, is the highest level and the “luxurious” ceremony ,its an honor ceremony from the families who are still living to the dead, the ceremony takes five days and five nights, the cost can be outstanding, sacrifice dozens and hundreds of pigs, jumbo chicken its essence is to giving / send “prosperity and stability” to the spirit / adiau in “bontang” (paradise), the ceremony of this ceremony was not a funeral ceremonies, but a joy ceremony .
  5. Nuang Panuk , Membatur (fix tomb) ceremony , a notch below Miya ceremony, because its implementation is only takes one day and one night, and the grave of the dead were only made in one level, with offerings of Dayak  cakes 7 tumpi wayu and 7 lapat wayu and various other types of cakes,7 pieces altogether in a fairly complicated arrangement.
  6. Siwah, is a continuation of Miya ceremony held after forty days after the Miya ceremony. Siwah ceremony is only takes one day and one night. The essence of this ceremony is the inaugural of the spirit of the dead after being called in a  Miya ceremony to be pangantu pangantuhu , or “friend” for the family that has not been died.
What is interesting from the ceremony were many elements of art in it, either tumet Leut (rhymes sung by a beautiful voice) and typical dance  of Dayak Ma’anyan such as giring-giring or Nampak or Nandrik.

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