Monday, August 03, 2009

Orang Ulu wedding ceremony at the Spring

While this happened a while ago (in June), but for its uniqueness, I think this Orang Ulu wedding ceremony deserves some mention.

This event was organised in conjunction with the Rainforest World Music Festival at the Spring, and thus several artists were engaged to reenact this rarely seen ceremony to public eyes.

I'm hardly an expert in Orang Ulu culture, but I'll try as best as I can to explain how the whole event went.

The head of the household instructs the groom to sit on a small gong, while awaiting for his bride to arrive.

The bride arrives on a bamboo poles carried by two of her folk..

... and sits right next to her husband to be on that really small gong. Now I can imagine that they're hardly comfortable in their current situation.

Several gifts are prepared in conjunction with the ceremony..

.. and the head of the longhouse ("tuai rumah") inspects each of them, such as this ''parang'' (knife)...

...and wooden shield.

The head of the longhouse blesses the couple by shaking some dried leaves ...

and ties their hands with a cord to symbolise an ever-lasting marriage.

He then places several "terendak" (conical shaped hat) on the bride's head..

.. before feeding each other with ''sirih'' leaves.

The "tuai rumah" has to lead the couple for a walk around the longhouse terrace seven times. As a longhouse can be quite long, this would naturally take a while.

The "tuai rumah" may do a brief dance, if he so wishes.

I'm not sure about the traiditonal dances, but I suppose there would be one in conjunction with the wedding

Note the fake hornbill feathers on the fans, which look quite unattractive in my opinion. If they were real, I guess our state bird would be extinct by now.

Thats all folks! There may be more steps involved, but this is as much as I can notice from this brief ceremony.

1 Comment:

maruwiah said...

hi Brandon, u have nice pictures, can i use ur pictures (2-3) to my books (about Iban culture), thanks


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