Monthly archives: June 2021

The Legend of Manggeng

Tabi basa everyone! Today, I’d like to share about a Bidayuh story from my father’s side, which is Bidayuh Biatah that lives around Siburan area.

There is a community hall named Remin Rais Manggeng in Kpg Masaan, Siburan, but there is more than that to the name.

Manggeng, or Simanggeng is a central figure of Biatah folklore, where he is the son of a man from Siburan, Sikaya and a woman from the star, Sikamba.

To talk about Manggeng’s origin, it is wise to talk about how his father met his mother. Sikaya had a beautiful fiancée. When they were engaged they made their own farm. While working on his paddy field, his paddy dibbing stick was blunt and he sharpened his stick at a tree stump. Surprisingly, blood spurted out from the tree stump. While he was wondering what was going on, a beautiful lady appeared in front of him, with her toe had a cut which was still bleeding. Out of concern, he embraced her. As they embrace each other, she told him, “why don’t we go home instead?” He learned that her name is Sikamba, but he doesn’t know that she came from the stars, part of the constellation called Pleiades, called Sikara by Bidayuh Biatah.

Their union gave birth to Simanggeng or Manggeng. Being the son of a man and a celestial being, he is no doubt a demigod, half-human, half-god. Secretly, after Sikamba gave birth to Manggeng, Sikaya met his former fiancée and commited adultery with her. She knows, and sent a fly with a pigeon orchid looped around its leg to bite the back of Sikamba who was making love. Immediately, Sikamba knows because only his wife split pigeon orchid that time. Because of that, Sikamba wants to return to her own villave (the stars). Before she left, she taught Sikaya how to look at the stars to plant paddy and taught him about using tapang tree to get what he wants, which is the origin of Gawai Tamui. During Gawai Tamui, it is forbidden to leave the village for four days and four nights.

After feeding Manggeng, she left home for good, leaving behind Sikaya who was still at the forest. Her sibling fetched her, from bamboo pole which she erected prior to that. That evening, when Sikamba saw that his wife was not around, he knew that she had gone.

Years gone by, Simanggeng grew up and had two sons of his own named Sijun and Sibarun. When Sibarun was still small, he had an accident where he fell down from their verandah to the banana tree down below, leaving him a wound to his forehead, right below the hairline. When the two was still six to seven years old, Simanggeng sailed to Java, along with his servants. For info also, Simanggeng is also the king of animals, including gibbons, crickets and insects which made lots of noises in the late evening. These creatures followed their king to Java because they see no point for them to stay at Siburan after their king left.

At Java, Simanggeng had his servants prepared him meal and was about to eat Dayak mustard (kudos sabi) and so he looked up. At the upper platform, there was the king and his wife sitting. The king noticed that Simanggeng was looking at his wife. So he called to him, saying that he was looking at his wife. He replied that he was not looking at the king’s wife on purpose, but that was how Bidayuh eat Dayak mustard. But the king didn’t believe him and made a bet with him. If he won, he can take the king’s wife. If he lost, he will be killed. The challenge was to cut beeswax. Being a smart guy, Simanggeng already had a plan in his mind. Early in the morning he put his knife under the sun to warms it up from morning til noon, where a warm knife will be able to cut through the beeswax without any difficulty.  His trick works and the king lost his bet. Thereafter, Simanggeng took the king’s wife as his own. He earns respect of the people of the area and then became their king. His life there was full of luxury and happiness.

However, across the sea, Siburan was desolate. All the creatures left Siburan to follow their king. Simanggeng’s sons, Sibarun and Sijun wanted to visit their father at Java. Their age around that time is 9 to 10 year’s old. Upon their arrival at Java, they asked around about King Manggeng’s house. Nobody dares to say the kings real name. Their action created an uneasiness among the peoples there, thus the angry peoples wanted to brought the two to meet the king. They refused, and demanded that the king met them at the jetty instead. When the king arrived, they repeated their demand of wanting to meet the king of Java. Simanggeng grabbed the child’s head, intending to stab him. Then he noticed the scar on Sibarun’s head, thus immediately realized that the child that he almost stabbed was in fact his own child. He asked them to come to his house, but they refused unless king’s wife come to and fetched them. Simanggeng agrees, and they had a big celebration that night.

However, both Sijun and Sibarun are still troubled because Siburan village was still desolate. Simanggeng’s wife, noticed their hidden dilemma, told Simanggeng about it. She couldn’t understand Biatah’s language but she knows that they are troubled. Early the next morning, Simanggeng spied on his sons and learned about what happened after he left; Siburan’s desolation and the signs of that proclaiming the time also left with him. 

Because he can’t leave Java, Simanggeng told his sons to prepare and take with them everything that can restore the village as before. On the two boats prepared by their father’s men, they took gibbon, cricket, dragonfly, cicada, partridge and other insects.

Upon the arrival of these animals and insects to Siburan from Java, Siburan was no longer desolate, but a lively village and area as it was before.

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Tabi basa semua. Pada hari ini saya ingin berkongsi cerita orang Bidayuh dari sebelah bapa saya, iaktu Bidayuh Biatah yang tinggal di Siburan.

Manggeng atau Simanggeng merupakan teraju utama di dalam lagenda masyarakat Bidayuh Biatah yang mendiami kawasan Siburan, Sarawak.

Sebelum berbicara berkenaan asal usul Manggeng, penting untuk kita bercerita berkenaan cara bapanya bertemu dengan ibunya. Ayah Manggeng, Sikaya mempunyai tunang yang cantik. Semasa mereka bertunang, Sikamba membuat ladang mereka sendiri. Semasa mengerjakan padi huma, kayu yang digunakan untuk menanam padi menjadi tumpul. Oleh itu, Sikaya menajamkannya di tunggul kayu yang berdekatan. Dia menjadi tekejut melihat darah terpancut dari tunggul kayu itu. Semasa dia sedang berfikir kenapa hal itu terjadi, muncul seorang wanita yang cantik di depan dia, yang mana ibu jari dia berdarah dek pisau Sikaya. Kerana risau, Sikaya terus mendakap Sikamba. Didalam dakapan Sikaya, wanita itu berkata, “apa kata kita pulang rumah sahaja?”. Sikaya kemudiannya mengetahui akan nama wanita itu, iaitu Sikamba. Namun, dia tidak tahu yang Sikamba itu berasal daripada bintang, daripada buruj Pleiades yang dikenali oleh Bidayuh Biatah sebagai Sikara.

Hasil dari hubungan mereka berdua, maka lahirlah Simanggeng / Manggeng, iaitu anak manusia dan anak warga kayangan. Hubungan mereka terlihat berlaku tanpa sebarang masalah. Namun, selepas Sikamba melahirkan Simanggeng, Sikaya pula curang dibelakangnya dan berzina dengan bekas tunang dia. Sikamba tahu akan hal itu. Dengan menggunakan kebolehan dia, dia telah menangkap lalat dan meliliti kaki lalat tersebut dengan bunga anggerek merpati. Lalat tersebut dihantar ke Sikaya dan menggigit belakang dia semasa dia sedang berzina dengan bekas tunang dia. Oleh kerana merasa disakiti dan dikhianati, Sikamba hendak kembali ke kampung halaman dia di sebalik bintang Sikara. Sebelum dia pergi, dia mengajar Sikaya cara-cara untuk melihat bintang-bintang untuk mendapatkan hasil tuaian padi yang bagus dan menggunakan pokok tapang untuk mendapatkan apa yang dia mahu, yang mana ini merupakan asal usul Gawai Tamui. Semasa Gawai Tamui, warga kampung tersebut tidak dibenarkan untuk meninggalkan kampung selama empat hari empat malam. 

Selepas menyusui Manggeng, Sikamba meninggalkan Sikaya yang masih berada di hutan. Adik beradik Sikamba datang menjemput dia dari bintang, melalui buluh yang telah didirikan sebelum itu. Petang itu, setibanya Sikaya dari hutan dan mendapati Sikamba sudah tiada, dia tahu yang isterinya itu sudah pergi meninggalkan dia.

Tahun demi tahun berlalu, Simanggeng membesar dan mempunyai anaknya yang sendiri yang diberi nama Sijun dan Sibarun. Semasa Sibarun masih lagi kecil, dia telah terjatuh dari beranda rumah ke pohon pisang di bawah rumah lalu meninggalkan kesan parut di dahi dia, dibawah garisan rambut. Semasa mereka berdua berusia enam dan tujuh tahun, Simanggeng pergi meninggalkan Siburan dan belayar ke Pulau Jawa bersama-sama orang suruhannya. Simanggeng juga sebenarnya merupakan raja binatang termasuk beruk, cengkerik dan serangga-serangga kecil yang membuat bunyi bising pada lewat petang. Makhluk-makhluk ini mengikuti Raja Manggeng ke Jawa kerana melihat tiada erti bagi mereka tinggal di Siburan 

Di Jawa, orang suruhan Simanggeng telah pun menyediakan makanan buatnya. Semasa makan sayur, dia mendongak ke atas dan mendapati raja dan isteri duduk di atas. Raja merasakan yang Simanggeng melihat isterinya dan memanggilnya, menuduhnya melihat isterinya. Simanggeng membalas dengan mengatakan yang dia tidak melihat isteri raja, tetapi begitulah cara orang Bidayuh makan. Raja itu tidak percaya dan mencabar Simanggeng. Kalau dia menang, dia boleh ambil isteri raja. Kalau dia kalah, dia akan dibunuh. Cabaran yang diberikan adalah memotong lilin lebah. Sebagai seorang yang licik, Simanggeng telah pun merangka strategi untuk memenangi cabaran tersebut. Awal pagi hari cabaran, dia menjemur pisau dia dari pagi sampai tengah hari untuk memanaskan pisau tersebut. Pisau yang panas dapat memotong lilin lebah dengan bagus. Taktik dia berhasil. Oleh itu, Simanggeng mengambil isteri raja sebagai isterinya. Dia juga telah beroleh penghormatan daripada penduduk kawasan tersebut dan menjadi raja mereka. Kehidupannya di sana adalah mewah dan bahagia.

Walaubagaimanapun, di Siburan terbiar sepi. Semua makhluk telah mengikuti raja mereka ke Jawa. Anak-anak Simanggeng, Sibarun dan Sijun ingin menziarahi bapa mereka di Jawa. Umur mereka pada masa itu adalah 9 dan 10 tahun. Setibanya mereka di Jawa, mereka bertanya akan Raja Manggeng. Tiada penduduk Jawa yang berani menyebut nama raja mereka. Tindakan mereka telah menimbulkan ketidaksenangan di kalangan penduduk Jawa, lantas mengarahkan kedua-dua budak tersebut untuk menghadap raja. Mereka enggan dan berkeras agar raja berjumpa dengan mereka di jeti. Apabila raja tiba di jeti, mereka menyebut kembali hasrat merek untuk berjumpa dengan raja Jawa. Berang dengan perangai mereka, Simanggeng merentap rambut budak tersebut dengan niat untuk menikam budak tersebut. Namun, dia perasan akan parut pada kepala Sibarun dan teringat akan parut anaknya. Lantas, dia sedar yang budak tersebut adalah anaknya sendiri. Dia meminta agar mereka datang ke rumahnya, tetapi ditolak melainkan isteri raja datang dan menjemput mereka. Simanggeng setuju dan pada malam itu juga diadakan keramaian untuk menyambut kedatangam mereka.

Walaupun mereka hidup mewah, Sijun dan Sibarun masih berduka kerana Siburan masih sepi. Isteri Simanggeng perasan akan hal ini dan memberitahu Simanggeng. Walaupun dia tidak faham bahasa Biatah, namun dia tahu yang mereka sedang gusar. Pada pagi seterusnya, Simanggeng mencuri dengar perbualan anak-anaknya dan mengetahui akan apa yang terjadi di Siburan. 

Oleh kerana dia tidak dapat meninggalkan Jawa, dia menyuruh anak-anaknya untuk membawa segala benda yang dapat mengembalikan seri kepada Siburan. Dua kapal disediakan buat mereka dan mereka bertolak dengan membawa segala mergastua dan serangga yang telah pergi mengikuti Simanggeng.

Ketibaan mereka ternyata mengembalikan seri kepada Siburan.

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Tukang Rantek, Claudius

Source: Buk Shun Nyamba Nang (Father Peter P. Howes)

Sarawak Indigenous People’s Tribal Masks

Tabi basa everyone! Since we’re forced to wear facemask these days as part of COVID-19 SOP, I’d like to tell a story about tribal masks.

Tribal masks is a part of the long, lost culture of our ancient world. In fact, it is a mystery by itself because no one knows exactly what or who started it. Generally, it known that every mask has its own purpose, but it is largely not known by current generation.

The Christian missionaries visit to Sarawak marks the beginning of the end of ancient ways at Sarawak, though there are still some group of peoples practicing the folk religion and live and die by it. Folk religion is the religion that was practiced before the arrival of missionaries.

As time goes by and by the spread of Christianity at Sarawak, the folk religion are put aside because one can’t workship two Gods at the same time, and Christian is a monotheistic religion. In Islam, it’s called “syirik”. Practicing these folk religion is considered a sin in the eye of Abrahamic religion. These tribal masks is a strong part of the folk religion, and therefore are either disposed off, taken by colonist, being sold to museum or being kept should the villagers kept it.

If you ever visited Sarawak Cultural Village or Sarawak Museum, I’m sure you will notice that there is a lot of masks being displayed there. Even the cultural merchandice shop around Kuching’s Waterfront usually will have these tribal mask on display. Some people claimed that they are feeling that they are being watched while being surrounded by these tribal masks. Why is that happening? That’s because these masks are used to be worn during the traditional rites. Different culture has a different mask shape, but there are similarities. 

Let’s take a step back and think why it’s being made.

For Bidayuhs, white colours are being used in the masks to represents the spirit, and it also means the absence of the Life Force. Just like the face of a dead person, pale and white, and bloodless. It also can be likened to the pale colour of a person that just encounter an evil spirit. Only a chosen people can and allowed to make these masks. Most of the time, the knowledge from “kamang” (spirit) can only be obtained from dreams. That’s their favourite mode of knowledge transfer. In dreams, they can bend reality such that they can also visualise what would happen if their tabboos are being broken. Usually it will involve a high price. Even a bright sunny day can turn into a severe thunderstorm if these spirits are not pleased(andu jaji labur). As a Bidayuh boy, whenever I see these masks, I will be extra careful around it because it is believed that these old masks has its own dwellers. In the ancient times, these masks were clean. But most turns black due to being stored inside the house and smoke from ancient fireplace causes it to turn black. I still remember the story that was told to me by my late grandfather that the ancient Dayak Bidayuh warriors are invincible, bulletproof and are able to kill without even touching their enemy. They are able to teleport from one place to another through supernatural means and the ceremonial mask plays a big role in ensuring that they are able to obtain these superhuman strength and invincibility. However, it comes with a huge price. As many embraced Christianity, the ancient ways are forgotten as it is a sin to worship these “Tampa” (god). There was one instance at Kpg Pichin where the deer bone containing the ancient spirit was disposed at the toilet, and the person doing that offence angers the spirit, thus affecting him mentally. 

For Iban, as per my conversation with my friend, Terry Nyanggai, it is being used for a lot of occassion, particularly during “Miring” ceremony. “Miring” is performed to give honour to the god, to give them blessing and to avoid any unwanted incidents. In the ancient times, miring is done before head-hunting expedition, or “ngayau”. The mask will be worn by the miring leader, where the warriors are blessed and granted supernatural strength, thus enabling them to fight and kill their enemies. At the mask also, the hair of the fallen enemy is attached, giving it additional spiritual strength. While many Ibans converted into Christianity, many still maintain traditional and spiritual ceremony. Eg. Gawai Burong to worship Singalang Burong as a God of War. Gawai Dayak is on 1st June annually. Gawai Kenyalang is held to mark a person’s success in life. While Iban’s gods realm is a complex story,there are three main gods, Singalang Burong as a god of war, Simpulang Gana as the god of the paddy and Selampandai as the creator of man. 

For Ibans & Bidayuhs, dream is a place of meeting between people and the supernatural power, a bridge between the human realm and spirit realm. Usually it is used to convey guidance, advices and warning. Some people are also blessed with the ability to see things. 

For Kayan-Kenyah, based on what I’ve read, there is a strong similarities of the masks that they used in the past, which is “Hudoq” mask. Most of the younger generations have not seen any of these masks. Hudoq means masks, and it is used during Hudoq dances. Hudoq is done for 7 or 10 days, and each day different Hudoq is being used. On the final day, each Hudoq that was used will be used again. Before Hudoq was done, rice of their respective village will be collected. Once done, it will be distributed to those who came to join the ceremony. For Hudoq, masks are made from wood, while banana leave and roots are used to tie it. New banana leaves should be everytime and their dancers should be from the village. Leader of Hudoq rites are originally woman. There are two main masks of Hudoq, which is based on Hornbill Spirit and the other from Wildboar Spirit.

As for Melanaus, they also have their own masks made from sago tree. Those masks are being used during Kaul Seraheng Kakan, an annual festival done at Tellian River, circling Kpg Tellian before going to the big Mukah River to ensure the tradition is still alive. Despite it’s being done symbollically, the old tabboos are still being practiced to ensure no untowards thing happening. That includes no meat, egg or banana during the ceremony. 

Aside from the use of masks as a medium, enabling the bearer to assume a different role that was being depicted by their masks, choice of words plays a key role as well. Each ritual requires a different items to invoke a certain spirits. Therefore, it is not something that anyone can mess around with because you might open a Pandora Box to the spirit realm. The user of the masks also said can be possessed. It is wise to have no ill/malicious intent when you handling these masks because it might backfire.

Only the shamans / manang / lemambang can communicate with the spirits, but most of them have passed away. Furthermore, because of modernizations, new way of life, the younger generations gave it less priority. 

However, these masks and it individual uniqueness makes Sarawakian tribal makes has its own market and estethical value. Some of these original masks that is few hundreds year old in age fetch high value where it is being bought by private collectors.

Therefore, each and every of us Sarawak should be proud of these unique culture that we once had. Even though we are no longer using it, let’s preserve it for the future generations so they still can appreciate it. 

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Tabi basa semua! Memandangkan kita terpaksa memakai pelitup muka pada masa ini, saya ingin bercerita berkenaan topeng masyarakat peribumi di Sarawak.

Topeng merupakan salah satu daripada elemen penting dalam kehidupan orang dahulukala. Ia adalah merupakan misteri kerana tidak banyak orang yang tahu akan permulaannya memandangkan tiada sistem penulisan atau pencatat sejarah bertulis. Yang hanya adalah sejarah lisan, yang diperturunkan kepada generasi ke generasi.

Kedatangan pendakwah Kristian menandakan berakhirnya kebergantungan masyarakat asal Sarawak dengan adat lama, walaupun ada sesetangah kelompok masyarakat yang masih lagi rancak mengamalkan adat lama sebahagian daripada cara hidup mereka.

Bagi penganut agama Kristian dan Islam, adat lama tidak lagi diamalkan kerana ianya bertentangan dengan agama mereka dan ia adalah merupakan dosa bagi mereka untuk menduakan Tuhan, iaitu syirik. Topeng-topeng ini adalah merupakan salah satu daripada elemen penting didalam adat lama. Selepas kedatangan pendakwah ahli kitab, topeng-topeng dan artifak lama ini dijual, dihapuskan dengan cara membakar, diambil oleh penjajah ataupun masih lagi disimpan oleh pihak kampung yang tahu akan nilai kebudayaannya.

Jika anda pernah melawat Muzium Sarawak atau Kampung Budaya Sarawak, anda pasti akan pernah melihat topeng-topeng ini. Malah, kedai cenderahati di Waterfront Sarawak juga ada mempamerkan topeng-topeng ini. Sesetengah orang mendapati mereka dapat merasakan “kehadiran” penunggu topeng ini kerana jika ia adalah asli, ianya pasti sudah digunakan untuk ritual lama. Disebalik perbezaan topeng-topeng ini, ada persamaannya.

Marilah kita melihat sebab mengapa ia dicipta.

Bagi orang Bidayuh, warna putih topeng digunakan di dlaam topeng untuk melambangkan roh dan ketiadaan nyawa. Seperti muka orang yang sudah mati (pucat dan putih tanpa darah). Ianya boleh dikaitkan dengan penampakan roh-roh yang hanya orang tertentu sahaja boleh lihat. Kebanyakan masa, ilmu daripada “kamang” (roh) hanya boleh didapati daripada mimpi. Itulah cara yang dipilih oleh kamang untuk menyalurkan ilmu mereka. Di dalam mimpi, mereka juga boleh mengubah realiti sepertimana yang mereka inginkan, termasuklah memberikan bayangan apa yang akan terjadi sekiranya ada yang melanggar pantang larang. Kadang-kala ia melibatkan pertaruhan nyawa. Hari yang cerah boleh bertukar menjadi gelap gelita dan hujan yang kuat turun mencurah-curah dari langit, dan rumah panjang menjadi gunung batu seperti Gunung Silabur (andu jaji labur). Sebagai orang Bidayuh, oleh sebab itu, setiap kali saya melihat topeng-topeng ini, saya akan berhati-hati kerana setiap topeng ini mempunyai semangatnya sendiri. Pada masa silam, kebanyakan topeng ini adalah dicat putih. Namun, kerana disimpan di dalam rumah, banyak yang telah bertukar menjadi hitam. Tidak banyak yang sengaja dibuat di dalam warna hitam. Kalau ada pun, untuk tujuan yang tertentu. Saya masih ingat lagi cerita mendiang datuk saya, pahlawan Dayak Bidayuh pada suatu ketika dahulu adalah kebal dan mampu membunuh tanpa menyentuh, sepertimana pahlawan-pahlawan Dayak di bumi Borneo yang lainnya. Mereka juga mampu “teleport” dari satu tempat ke satu tempat melalui ilmu mistik mereka dan mempunyai kekuatan yang luar biasa. Namun, ilmu ini biasanya melibatkan pengorbanan yang tinggi, dan biasanya melibatkan nyawa si pengguna. Memandangkan banyak orang Bidayuh yang memeluk agama Kristian, adat lama ini tidak lagi diamalkan kerana ianya adalah dosa untuk menyembah ketujuh-tujuh “Tampa” (Tuhan) Bidayuh disamping mengamalkan adat Kristian. Pernah terjadi di Kpg Pichin, Serian dulu dimana satu tulang/tanduk rusa yang mengandungi roh lama dibuang di tandas. Si pelaku menimbulkan kemarahan roh itu dan mendapat sakit mental.

Bagi orang Iban, berdasarkan perbualan saya dengan rakan saya, Terry Nyanggai yang mempunyai ahli keluarga yang aktif dengan adat lama Iban, topeng-topeng itu pada suatu masa digunakan untuk kebanyakan upacara Iban, termasuk “miring”. Miring dibuat untuk memberikan penghormatan kepada tuhan-tuhan lama. Pada zaman dahulu, miring dibuat sebelum memburu kepala (ngayau). Topeng ini digunapakai oleh ketua miring, dimana pahlawan-pahlawan Iban dan senjata perang mereka akan disembahyangkan agar dapat diberikan kekuatan yang luar biasa oleh roh-roh tersebut. Walaupun banyak orang Iban memeluk agama Kristian, ada juga yang masih mengamalkan adat lama. Contohnya; Gawai Burong untuk menyembah Singalang Burong, Tuhan Peperangan. Gawai Dayak disambut pada 1 Jun setiap tahun. Gawai Kenyalang pula dibuat untuk meraikan kejayaan seseorang di dalam hidup. Walaupun dunia tuhan Iban adalah begitu kompleks, sama seperti tuhan-tuhan Yunani dan Rom purba, mereka mempunyai tiga tuhan utama, iaitu Singalang Burong (Tuhan Peperangan), Simpulang Gana (Tuhan Padi) dan Selampandai (Tuhan Pencipta Manusia).  

Bagi masyarakat Bidayuh dan Iban dahulukala, mimpi adalah tempat pertemuan di antara manusia dan roh-roh/kuasa ghaib. Biasanya mimpi adalah untuk memberikan petunjuk, nasihat dan amaran. Ada juga sesetengah orang lahir dengan kebolehan untuk melihat benda-benda ghaib (bateh belian).

Untuk orang Kayan-Kenyah, mereka berkongsi adat yang sangat dekat di antara satu sama lain apabila ia berkaitan dengan topeng mereka, iaitu topeng Hudoq. Hudoq sendiri membawa maksud “Topeng” di dalam bahasa Dayak Kenyah Kalimantan Timur. Di sana, tarian Hudoq masih lagi rancak dijalankan. Hudoq dibuat selama 7 atau 10 hari, dan setiap hari, topeng Hudoq yang lain digunapakai. Pada hari yang terakhir, semua topeng Hudoq yang digunakan akan ditarikan semula. Sebelum Hudoq dibuat, beras daripada setiap warga penduduk akan dikumpul. Selepas tarian Hudoq selesai, ianya akan diberikan kepada setiap yang hadir. Topeng Hudoq dibuat daripada kayu, dan daun pisang serta akar digunakan untuk pakaiannya. Daun pisang yang baru harus digunapakai untuk setiap tarian. Ketua pemimpin Hudoq adalah daripada kaum Hawa. Dua topeng Hudoq yang utama adalah dibuat berdasarkan roh Kenyalang dan Babi Hutan.

Untuk orang Melanau pula, mereka mempunyai topeng mereka sendiri yang dibuat daripada pokok sagu. Topeng-topeng tersebut akan digunapakai semasa Kaul Seraheng Kakan, acara tahunan di Mukah, menelusuri Sungai Tellian sebelum keluar ke Batang Mukah bagi memastikan tradisi mereka sentiasa hidup. Walaupun ianya hanya simbolik semata-mata, pantang-larang lama termasuk dilarang membawa daging, telur dan pisang masih lagi digunapakai bagi mengelakkan kejadian yang tidak diingini.

Selain daripada menggunakan topeng ini sebagai medium yang membolehkan si pemakai mendapatkan peranan yang topeng itu, pemilihan kata-kata juga memainkan peranan yang penting, iaitu dalam bentukjampi serapah. Oleh sebab itu juga kita kena berhati-hati dalam berkata-kata disekeliling topeng-topeng ini kerana dikhuatiri akan menyinggung roh-roh yang mungkin berada di dalamnya. Pengguna topeng itu juga mungkin dirasuk sekiranya tidak digunakan dengan betul. 

Yang orang tertentu seperti pawang / dukun (manang / lemambang) yang boleh mengendali topeng-topeng ini. Tambahan pula, disebabkan permodenan, dan gaya hidup baru, generasi muda tidak memberikan benda-benda ini prioriti utama. 

Walaubagaimanapun, topeng inilah yang menjadi identiti masyarakat peribumi Sarawak dan ianya mempunyai nilai estitikanya yang tersendiri. Ada dikalangan topeng ini mempunyai harga yang sangat tinggi kerana berusia ratusan tahun.

Namun begitu, disebabkan harganya yang tinggi, topeng ini berakhir di tangan orang persendirian, biasanya di luar negeri, bukannya di tangan kaum atau etnik yang menghasilkan topeng tersebut.

Oleh sebab itu, setiap seorang warga Sarawak harus berbangga akan budaya topeng kita yang unik ini. Walaupun kita tidak lagi menggunapakai topeng tersebut, marilah kita sama-sama menyimpan topeng tersebut untuk generasi akan datang.

Stay safe and take care everyone! 🙏🏻
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Tukang Rantek,Claudius
Sources:

1.TARIAN DAN TOPENG HUDOQ KALIMANTAN TIMUR: SUATU KAJIAN FILSAFAT SENI (Fauzia Latif, 2013)

2.Terry Nyanggai (2021)

3.Sarawak Voice (2019) – Pesta Kaul

4.Thomas Murray Asiatica

5.Iban Traditional Religion: Miring Bibiana Motey Bilon@Senang & Noria Tugang