Selasa, 04 Oktober 2011

Tiwah (Ceremony of the Dead)

Tiwah is a ceremony which is held by those who still adhere to the indigenous faith of the Dayaks called Kaharingan which means "That Which Sustains". This ceremony is carried out when the Dayaks remove the bones of their dead relatives from graves and put the bones in a special place called “sandung”. Sandung is a human statue, either man or woman, made of iron wood, erected on both left and right side of Sandung. “Burung Piak Liau” on the top of Sandung symbolizes completeness of life in Heaven as well as an indicanon that Tiwah had been held to the Soul concerned. ”KAMBE RABIT” carving symbolizes that the death of man is cause by disease and evil spirit.
Yellow flag in front of Sandung is a symbol of Greatness of Supreme God. Sandung is a place to keep the bones through a ceremony called Nyakean, that is an inherent part of the Tiwah.
The ceremony normally takes at least 25 days, and it can be found only in Central Kalimantan.Sandung is usually made of iron wood with typical Dayaks carvings on it's walls and pilars.
During the tiwah ceremony people sing and dance with the remains of the dead during the night. All the people participate, men and women, old and young. The ceremony reaches its most dramatic stop during the slaughter of a buffalo as a sacrifice. If only one buffalo is killed, it is done a day before the cremation. If there are several, the killing maybe done either at once, or a day before cremation or one or a few at a time, until cremation takes places. The buffalo is killed with spears, by several people, taking turns. The animal is tied to the animals pala, called sapundu and cannot escape, while it's executioners aim their spears at its head and body. The person who has the obligation to throw the first spear is the brother of the deceased. If he is indisposed, he can be


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