Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kedau Diam (Settlements)

Modern villages vary in size from 300 to 1,000 inhabitants. Houses, averaging 7 by 10 meters, are built on durable wooden frames in a ribbon pattern along both banks of a river and stand some 3 meters above ground. Walls are of plank or sago bark, and roofing is of palm thatch or wooden shingles.

When i was a a kids we used to have this kind of house but not 3 m above the ground. We use sago bark as walls and nipah leaves or wooden as roofing. It was so unique when i think back how they use to made a house using all the source that we can get from the surroundings. Plants and wildlife is the main source for living.

In some areas, notably on the River Tillian at Mukah, villages were closely adjacent, and today the banks of the river are a continuous line of housing with several thousand inhabitants. Administratively the villages are still separate. Traditionally a village was made up of two, sometimes three longhouses, each with a population of about 300 people. A longhouse, consisting of separate apartments with a common veranda in front, facing the river, was essentially a fortress on ironwood piles, some 10 meters above the ground. They were often sited on the bank of the main river opposite the mouth of a tributary stream, which allowed them to see enemies approaching on the water.

I wonder when Melanau people started to change from longhouses to a single house like what we have now. Since i was born, i only see single houses and never see any longhouses in my village.

At the mouths of the main rivers, where representatives of the sultan of Brunei nominally held suzerainty over the river to its source, villagers had by 1830 already begun to build small separate houses, but still retained longhouses for defense. By the beginning of the twentieth century the rajah of Sarawak had successfully put an end to intertribal warfare and most longhouses were abandoned. Sago gardens were cultivated as near the village as possible, and a communal rice field was organized annually by village elders, with a strip allocated to each household.

It is still the main activities of Melanau people in our area to plant sago and paddy for their living.

*Idak anagai ngak a liko gak kapong ko keluar keman kapong pesawa jegum a luar lalu debei menak kubo gak kapong agei. Dagen kawasan kamei dagen setaun ien payah angai agei bak pilak a nyerakin kubo. Ienlah kapong ko dibei petamah rakyat alu ji agei. Hmmm..ako pun kalik debei balik kapongkawak agei na'ah.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sejarah Jegum Adat A Liko (History And Cultural Relations of Melanau)

Few reliable historical records of the Melanau exist before the nineteenth century, although European travelers and map-makers placed names not unlike "Melanau" on the northwest coast of Borneo. There are also probable references to the Melanau even earlier in Chinese records. The Coastal Melanau and the Kajang groups in the interior relate that their ancestors migrated from central Borneo and founded a Kajang kingdom from which the Coastal Melanau broke away. The Coastal Melanau believe that much of their culture and many of their institutions are derived from the legendary empire of the folk hero Tugau, who was overthrown in a struggle with Brunei.

Some historians suggest that these events occurred in the fourteenth century, others, as early as the seventh. In 1861 the Melanau coastal district was ceded to James Brooke, the rajah of Sarawak, by the sultan of Brunei. The Rajang Delta was already under the control of Sarawak. The cession was made to gain control of the export of sago flour to Singapore. The trade was essential for the survival of the regime of the rajah of Sarawak. So as not to disturb the flow of trade, the rajahs interfered as little as possible with the local social and political organization. During World War II the third rajah sold the country to the British government, which, until Sarawak became a part of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, instituted a number of modernizing economic and educational changes, accompanied by further developments in representative government and administrative institutions.

Source: http://www.everyculture.com/East-Southeast-Asia/Melanau.html

P.S. I can't translate those infromation into Melanau beacuse the language is very difficult. Now i realize that i only know simple Melanau language and when it is more advance i really can not translate it. By the way, i hope the information that i post and gathered here will give others some ideas about my ethnic group.

Ajau ih rasa ko wak belajer sejarah a liko. Idak angai paduhal sejarah pasal a liko wak debei tenao ko. Ngadan singen a liko. Mun tenelabau a idak aluk pasal a liko saji menak jawai palui singen kalik ko. Haiya..susah paduhal menulih dagen ubak liko ih..

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Liko (The Melanau)

Ako rasa ako bak menak pengenalan jumit pasal a liko tapi buyak teks ih susah angai bak dialih bahasa ko mapun ubak liko putik nyadin ako pigek terus keman website wak tenemu ko alu ninak ko gak gi'ih. Ako luk a tao pasal a liko.

Identification. The Melanau have no name to cover all Melanau-speaking people: they refer to themselves as "A-Liko X," meaning "the people of a river, a district, or a village," according to context. "Melanau," they assert, was given to them by the Malays of Brunei. The name possibly signifies "coast-dweller" in contrast to "inland-dweller."

Location. The areas of Sarawak inhabited by Melanau speakers stretch from Bintulu on the northwest coast of Borneo to the Rajang Delta in the southwest, and up the Rajang River to Kanowit. Beyond Kanowit are closely related Kajang peoples, who also are found on the River Baluy. The inhabitants of the coastal area live along rivers (Balingian, Mukah, Oya, and Igan) that run parallel to one another through dense tropical-rain-forest swamp, and frequently are referred to as the Coastal Melanau to distinguish them from Melanau speakers on the Rajang. The swampy environment, in which the only reliable food crop is the sago palm, is frequently flooded during the northeast monsoon from November to March, which virtually stops fishing from the coastal villages in January and February.

Demography. In 1980 the population of Sarawak was 1,233,103. The Melanau numbered 69,578, of whom 53,689 were Muslim; 8,486 were Christian; 1,749 were tribal; and 5,328 were registered as having no religion, which in practice means they adhered to tribal religion.

Linguistic Affiliation. Melanau is an Austronesian language of the Western Malayo-Polynesian Branch. It has no standard orthography; today individuals use their own spelling and the roman script. The Melanau language is divided into dialects, not all of which are mutually intelligible. The Coastal and Rajang dialects are linguistically related to those of the Kajang groups and groups on the coast between Bintulu and Brunei and the interior, groups sometimes referred to as Kelemantan. All Melanau people, even Muslims, speak a Melanau dialect, although today most are bilingual in Malay and Melanau.


Source: http://www.everyculture.com/East-Southeast-Asia/Melanau-Orientation.html

Debei Tao Uno Bak Tulih (Don't Know What To Write)

Idak lau angai ngak ko debei menulih dagen blog ako atak ih. Ko dibei makau ka'an-ka'an alu ienlah ko sapai dibei idea agei bak menulih gak gi'ih. Bak cerita idak aluk pasal a liko pun ako debei tao. Hmmm.. Ienlah tan mun bei lian otak ngak kusong alu sapai debei tao agei uno bak nak. Dao ako pinyi dagen internet ga'an tao bei wak bak cerita ko bein ah.


It's been a few days i didn't write anything in this blog. I didn't go anywhere these past few days so that i have no idea on what to write. I want to write more about my ethnic but i am lack of knowledge. Hmmm..That's what happen when our brain is blank so that don't know waht to do. I will try to search something from the internet perhaps i can share a stories here later.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kubo A Liko @ Kampung Budaya (Melanau's House @ Cultural Village)

Saji atang keji'ih ji kah kubo a liko dana sabei? Ako pun debei tao. Mun kejien ji wak nak a gak gi'ih, kalik kejieh lah ji. Ako anik a liko bao debei rapa tao keja'an ji gaya a liko dana sabei. Sudahlah idak angai ngak adat a liko wak debei tao ko.
Is this is how the real Melanau's House looks like before? I am not sure too. If it is like this that shown at Cultural Village, Kuching so i assumed it is look like this. I am a new generations that not aware of our own tradition. Ashamed of myself.


Mun lian kaul, ih la ji gaya serarang wak tenului kudai mapun da'at. Wak bak juh gak lo ipuk sui dengah. Idak macam ji gaya wak ninak gak bieh serarang ih.
During Kaul Festival (in April every year at Mukah), this is the presentation that sent to the sea. This is called "SERARANG" that going to be presented to the spirit of the sea. There were a few things that put on this presentation.

Replika salui wak nebak menului serarang kudai mapun dagen da'at.
This is the replica of the boat that they use to send the "SERARANG" into the sea.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kapong Ko (My Village)

Mun mekat awal-awal bah su mesti kenah pilak matalau bawai. Ih gaber nigek ko lian kamei pado kajuk mapun Sg. Kut.

If wake up early in the morning, the sunrise is so beautiful. This photo was taken when we were heading up to Sg. Kut.


Ih la ji gaya kubo a liko gak kapong kamei. Kubo jatak-jatak, debei ji kubo liko balah wak tenibah a kubo lalo. Lian ko pigek gaber ih anum tapuk nyat. Saji wak ujung taun selalu angai tapuk nyat gak kapong ko.
This is how Melanau's house looks like in my village. We use to have a single house not like Iban which have longhouses. This photo is taken during the high tide end of the year. It was almost every end of the year, the water level is very high.


Ako suka angai pilak gaber ih. Ih gaber gak utu bati kamei, bah abei lian mata lau ba'ai.
I really love this photo. I took this photo at our house jetty when the sunset. It was so beautiful.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Salui (Boat)

Ako rasa ko patut menulih dagen ubak liko putik. Sasik kawak mun bei a kik bak maca uno wak tulih ko gak gi'ih. Ako akan cuba bak menulih dagen duah bahasa jelakau. Ih lah ji gaya kapong ko. Kubo saji ninak gak dawak sungai. Nyadin kamei saji wak pebak salui mun bak mapun pasar atau bak mapun kubo a kik. Lian ako agei umit sabei pun ako pebak salui pela tabui sekul.

I think i have to write my post in English as a translation to my post in Melanau. I have to consider others who want to know what is going on here. Therefore, i will write in both language. This is how my village look like. We build our house near by the river. So, we use boats to go to the town or visit our neighbours house. When i was a kid, i use paddle boat to go to my primary school.


Ih la ji gaya salui pela ngadan. Salui ih ninak keman kayao. Mun sabei agei idak angai a bejaja. Balah keman ud ajuk bejaja kabak mapun kamei. Tapi lian ih susah angai agei bak pinyi buyak dibei kayao dao agei bak nak lien nyadin salui. Kamei pinyi salui ih keman Dalad. Lian ih salui pela didak ninak keman kayao sumil. Ienlah debei rapa ta'an, legah angai metik drip.

This is the paddle boat. This boat is made from wood. There were a lot of local people sell this kind of boat before. They are Iban people from upper river. But now, it is very difficult to find a good one because there were no more good woods to make this boats. Now, we can look for this kind of boats from Dalat but it is made from other types of woods. It will not last long and easily broken.


A liko menibah ih pela. Pela nebak kamei pepela dagen sungai. A kapong wak bei petemu kayao dao menak pela keji'ih. Samalah salui kawak, ajau ih sakit angai agei bak pinyi a menak pela. Didak a menak pun pebak kayao wak debei rapa ta'an agei.
Melanau people call this "pela". We use this to paddle in the river. The villagers in my village who can find a good wood will make this type of paddle but same like boats, there are very difficult to find a good paddle now.


Mun bak senang aluk, pebak salui igin singen. Salui igin wak ninak keman kayou agei susah bak pinyi lian ih. Ienlah didak angai ngak a kapong pebak salui paber. Tapi salui paber ba'at angai. Sinak igin ayang pun ba'at anagai kawak tan.
To make life more easy, we use boats with engine. It is more difficult to find boats like this that made from wood. That's why most of us using fiber boats now. But this type of boats is very heavy and it will takes time to reach our destination.
*i hope my translation makes sense..:)