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Monday, May 28, 2012

The Traditional Kayan-Kenyah Maren's Wedding Ceremony @MEFA(Malaysia Wedding Festival 2012-Shah Alam)

Traditional Kayan-Kenyah  Maren 's (Aristocrat) Wedding Ceremony@MEFA Shah Alam 2012 ..
managed by Ani Tingang from MAREN FAMILY ...(Batang Balui Belaga,Sarawak) ..the owner of  Tinggang Borneo Crafts Heritage..(KL) Wangsa Maju(LINK..)
The Wedding Ceremony
The Maren Uma can perform the wedding ceremony when the couple choose to marry under the Adet Kayan-Kenyah and the issuance of the Marriage Testimonial is done by the Penghulu. In the olden days, marriage ceremonial rites were performed by the dayong If the married couple is from the same longhouse, the pelah hawa or wedding ceremony is preformed in the amin of the bride

In accordance to tradition, if the wedding was held at the groom's longhouse and the bride comes from another, then it is the groom who fetches the bride from her designated amin, the opposite happens if the wedding is held at the bride's longhouse.

Traditional Kayan-Kenyah  Maren 's (Aristocrat) Wedding Ceremony ..
In Long Bemang, the wedding is held at the groom's longhouse. Before the groom fetches the bride he waits in his own amin. The groom wears his traditional wedding attire which consists of a sunong, bah, tabinand lavung dok.

According to what was observed in Long Laput, the wedding was held at the bride's longhouse. Before the bride fetches the groom she sits and waits at the gallery outside her own amin. The bride was wearing her traditional wedding attire which consists of a top which is called basongand a traditional skirt called ta'a. With the skirt, she wore a belt called je't tesa' and to complete her attire is a sash worn across the chest called abilang inu'. On her head, she wore the lavung se'doh. This traditional attire was prepared by the bride and her family members.

For a traditional wedding ceremony that involves the Maren, the bride is to be accompanied by 8 women in full traditional attire and each carries a hong inu but only one is to be decorated with feathers. The hong inu is later be held above the bride's head as a sign of protection.

The Maren groom is accompanied by 8 male attendants in full traditional warrior attire. Each of the men carries a kelebit or shield that will be held above the groom's head when the couple exchanges the marriage vows.

The Maren Uk groom is accompanied by four men in full traditional attire. For the Panyin, one attendant is sufficient.

As observed in Long Laput and in accordance with tradition, before the bride fetches the groom from his amin, four delegations representing the bride's family go over to the groom's amin with offerings.

The first group of representatives of the bride go to the groom's aminto deliver the jako' or traditional cigarette to the groom. A group of eight women do the honours. The group is led by a man from the Panyin class who beat the mebang (a small brass gong). The beating of the mebang is to shield the 'bad noise' from reaching the ears of the group. The rest of the representatives are women who sing the ne'na' that was filled with stories, advice, requests, blessings, hopes and praises. The entourage leaves the bride's amin and the man continues to beat the mebang and the women sing their songs until they reach the groom's amin.

Inside the groom's amin, the woman leading the entourage presents the jako' to the groom and lights the jako' for him. She does the same for the groom's companions. When this has been done, the groom's family gives a sarong to each of the women who brought the jako'. The women hang the sarongs over their shoulders and walk back to the bride's amin.

The second group repeats the same process. This time the entourage delivers the selapa' or betel nuts and leaves. The third group follows to deliver rice and the fourth group delivers the bura' or rice wine. Each of the women in all four entourages comes back with a sarong over their shoulders. The sarongs are tokens of appreciation given to them by the groom's family. During each procession coming and going back to the bride's amin, the Panyin man continues to beat the mebang and the women sing the ne'na.

Finally, the bride goes to invite the groom. For this, the bride is accompanied by her eight companions and other relatives. On reaching the groom's amin, the bride is seated next to the groom. The groom's parents are asked if they agree to the marriage and allow the groom to be 'taken away' to the bride's amin. After the agreement, the bride asks the groom: "Do you want to marry me?" The groom answers with a 'yes'. The couple then walk out of the groom's amin and proceeds to the bride's amin.

In the olden days, along the way back to the bride's amin, the couple would be stopped or blocked by the bride's family. This was where the jai was demanded by the bride's family in the form of sarongs, malat buk and even tawak. If the groom's family failed to fulfil the demands, the wedding ceremony might not continue.

The tawak 
On the other hand, if the groom succeeded in breaking through the blockade and entered the bride's amin, no jai was to be awarded at all to the bride's family. This also meant that the groom had shown his strength and merit. As a strategy, the groom would ask the assistance of the strongest men among his family or friends to break through any blockade put up by the bride's family.

In the contemporary traditional wedding, a prior agreement is made by the couple's family on what items are to be given as jai to the bride's parents and siblings to avoid complications. The jai is done at the wedding. The jai is given by the groom's parent to the bride's parents in the form of tawak.

Each parent will be given one. This is not considered as exchange or barter but more as a symbol that a man is now taking care of their daughter. The tawak will be kept by the parents in their original amin. The siblings are given the malat buk or malat according to the class structure. Sometimes, only the men are given the parang and the women are given the sarongs. The Panyin is expected to give agung as jai to the bride's parents.

If the groom succeeds in fulfilling the jai requests or succeeds in breaking through the blockade without having to give away any jai, the next process is te'kaka, the symbolic ritual of going to the farm to do work.

As observed in Long Laput, this was done symbolically whereby the couple walks out of the longhouse and the groom pretends to cut the firewood, the bride assists in collecting the firewood and brings it back to the bride's amin. A Maren wedding will see the couple going through this process eight times while for other classes four times will be sufficient. On the way back to the amin, they are asked how the journey along the way was. This is to check if they came across dangerous animals and lethal snakes or other bad omens. This is done eight times. If a bad omen was encountered, the marriage would be called off or the couple are to be separated. In the olden days, the couple actually goes into the forest to literally collect firewood and collect vegetables. Following the class structure, they either went out for eight days (for the Maren) or four days (for the other classes). At anytime during this period, if a bad omen was detected, the couple were to be separated. This separation process is called pehelut jaki.

If all is well, the wedding will then continue.

In a traditional Maren wedding, there are eight men and eight women accompanying the bride and the groom. The couple is seated on thetawak with the woman sitting on the left of the groom. Nowadays, this is when the jai has to be presented to the parents. The groom has the shield held above his head to provide protection. For the woman, a hat decorated with 16 feathers of honorific birds (hornbill / manuk tingang) prepared by the bride's family is held over her head as protection. The others will hold a similar hat but without the feathers. For the Maren Uk, there are four accompanying men and women for each.

For a Panyin wedding, the couple will be seated on a decorated wooden bench or ladong with four attendants. Commoners cannot sit on the tawak during their wedding ceremony as it is associated with the aristocrats.

This is the time when the Maren Uma / Penghulu solemnises the marriage / pelah hawa.

As observed in Long Laput, the Temenggong asks the groom if he wishes to take the bride and her family to be his family. The same question is asked of the bride. When both have answered "I do", the Temenggong asks for the right hands of the couple. The groom's hand is placed on top of the bride's. The Temenggong then holds the handle ofmalat buk together with the beads and passes the items to and fro a few times over the entwined hands of the couple. Witnessed by the guests, the blessing is fulfilled.

After the blessing, the signing of the marriage testimonial follows, witnessed by both parents of the bride and groom. The Temenggong as head of the community endorses the document by signing it. The couple is then asked to stand on the tawak. The certificate is awarded to them. Still standing on the tawak and shielded by the kelebit and hong inu, the couple are blessed by the parents from both families. The marriage vows are sealed. The guests then congratulate the couple.

Next is the bringing down of the uma jako'.

The Uma jako is a structure similar in appearance to a doll's house in Western countries. The top of the uma jako is carved to look like a hornbill and the roof and the walls of the uma jako are decorated with traditional hand rolled cigarettes (wild jungle tabacco wrapped in dried wild banana leaves). As observed in Long Laput and Long Bemang, when the uma jako is taken down, the bride is asked to pluck out one of the cigarettes and offer it to the groom and light it up for him. The groom then does the same for the bride. After that, the couple offer the jako' to the parents of both parties. The guests of honour are offered the same thing. The women companions of the bride distribute the rest of the cigarettes to the guests21.

The bride and the groom are seated and given advice or tebara by selected elders before the ceremony ends.

The advices include matters related to a new life as husband and wife, children upbringing, patience, tolerance and caring in a married relationship.

After Wedding Festivities
After all the formal aspects of the wedding ceremony are completed,
 the guests are entertained with traditional dances by the men and the women of the long house and sape music is played. The festivities go on late into the night.

More :Traditional Kayan Wedding..

Me(Paren Nyawi) as Groom for that Wedding Ceremony
Malaysia Wedding Festival(MEFA)-Love in the Garden
Date:(27-29TH April 2012) was organised by BIG PICTURES EVENT SDN BHD
 Official Radio :HOTFM 
Official Venue:Shah Alam Convention Centre 
Managed by : Ani Tingang (Maren Family from BATANG BALUI BELAGA SARAWAK).
Costumes sponsored by :Tinggang Borneo Crafts Heritage (KL Wangsa Maju)..LINK


Lil' Waynester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

can i ask you about what does the bride and the groom wear? and can you explain it in detail? because i'm curious. and i also want to learn more about other cultures. :)

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