Tags archives: Folklore

The Story of Sikokok

Tabi basa, silamat brupagi, sramat isan-isan, slamat pagi & greetings everyone! Today I’d like to write about one of the stories from my childhood, which is about a bird callled “sikokok” (in Serian) or “Sikukuok” (in Bau). In English, it is called red-legged crake (Rallina fasciata).

It is a medium-large bird with size of 24cm in length. Its head, neck and breast red-brown, paler on throat. Its upper parts are grey-brown. Underparts and underwings are barred black and white. Its bill is green and its legs are red. But its most defining character is its red eye. 🔴A fiery-red eye, that tells us a lot about its true nature. It is like a ghost in disguise for Bidayuhs.👻

Bidayuh folklore revolves around our relationship with nature, with most of the spirits are manifested in physical world in apparition of animals. In this case, sikokok represents spirits that borders between life and death. It is also related to Bidayuh’s “pontianak”, despite its innocent look of a small bird.

The sound of sikokok represents a lot of thing. It could mean an impending death at a village. In a normal day, usually sikokok is silent. But when someone is about to die, especially back in the olden days where we were still practicing folk religion, sikokok’s sound from a distance at night means someone is about to pass away. We will gather at the person’s house at his or her final hour to give comfort to the family, as well as to be ready for anything, be it spiritual, or physical threat.

When I was a still a small boy, before I started my primary school, I like to sleep with my grandparents, a habit that seems to be followed by my nephew and niece. There is something so comforting with them around me as I fell asleep, especially when it comes to supernatural security. Usually I will wake up my late grandfather or grandma to accompany me for extra protection. But there was one time, I really want to go to the toilet. Suddenly, there was a sikokok’s sound from a distance.

Sikokok’s sound means an approaching omen, or something that might disturb us. There is a weird thing about its warning sound. If sikokok’s sound is getting louder, then that “thing” is moving further away. But if sikokok’s sound is getting further, that “thing” is getting nearer.

As for my case, at first, it’s getting louder, but then it became further away. It means, something is near. Then I saw a black figure seems to be walking around our house. There is no way that could have been anyone. It’s around 3am in the morning. So, I cancelled my wish to go to the toilet and stayed motionless on my bed to avoid getting unwanted attention and ended up wetting my bed. But that’s way better than being disturbed by that “thing”.

The next morning, I told my grandparents what happened, and coincidentally there was someone passed away on that night too, around 3am. So the “thing” that I saw is someone’s spirit roaming around for one last time before “it” left.

At the jungle, if we see someone, we are not allowed to called them by name. Instead, we will shout “wooo”. If they are human, they will reply by shouting “wooo”.

For many Bidayuhs, no matter where they are, “sikokok” plays a key role in our native story-telling as it is closely related to the afterlife and supernatural. It is sad that its story is not well-documented, and many of those who knew no longer alive.

👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻

TANEN SIKOKOK

Tabi basa ndug bala kende dangan silamat brupagi. Andu ti ku ira nulis pasal cirita de odog pidaan ndug aku wang ku lagi icek sani neh pasal manuk de odog taba ami sikokok de Kpg Pichin, Serian. Ganan ne ahi, Sikek, Sikekek, Sikukuk ato Sikukuok kuan Bi-Bau, pak kita bisi niju ndug manuk de indi ti.

Kai lagi manuk ti tantu bahas, Baak ne dangan koko’ ne nak bidaya mah kaler neh. Adeg dangan katap ne bihis-buda. Pak de kai buleh asat, bateh ne de pli kaler bidaya mung jawa apui. Kayuh kuan inya, mung mindu.

Tanen bala Bidayuh ti ahi ne pasal pimudip kita dangan tarun, ngin ahi bala kamang de dunia iti gayen ne mung bala pinatang. Dedeg sikokok ti, adeh inya manang ne nak tong kamang de nyaga pimudip dangan pingabus. Adeh lagi inya de manang ne “pontianak” Bidayuh mene pan riama ne mung manuk de icek. Ira ne maan toroi dari ato ngirantak turi kuan inya.

Angun sikokok ti ahi rati neh. Adeh inya manang ne pidaan pingabus de binua. De andu biasa, anyap angun kayuh ti. Pak wang adeh inya ira kabes, labih lagi sani neh wang ami lagi minan adat damba, angun sikokok de masu joho wang bingarum rati neh adeh inya ira kabes. Kita bigumpul bisindi duwah ramin inya de ira kabes tinan kita pirimpu asung bala nyahe, tangini pan kita ira sidiya asung kita dedeg kayuh de ira nantek kita, baik duwah kayuh de dapat dep tebek ne ato de anyap tanggah.

Wang ku lagi icek sani neh, sibayuh ku sikulah mangon, ku babar buus dangan bala tayung dangan turang babuk ku. Anak buah ku pan kelek ne buus dangan bala tayung babuk ne ngaya aku ngin pli lelek aku buus dangan bala neh. Lama neh wang ku ira kasing, garak ku tayung ato babuk ku ngancak ne nganted aku kasing. Aku mua maru tirawe sani neh. Pak adeh indi ngarum he, wang ku ira kasing, tipiya pli adeh angun sikokok. Mera tamang neh, tanan de rap ne nyap asung ku.

Angun sikokok ti rati neh adeh kayuh de nyinduk, ato adeh kayuh ira ngaco adep. De tusa neh, wang ne makin nyohon, makin joho ceh kayuh he. Pak wang ne makin retek, makin sinduk ceh kayuh he.

Balik ndug ciritu aku, angun de melen neh makin nyohon pli makin retek, rati neh kayuh he pli makin sinduk. Tebek ku adeh riama kayuh bihis de pinjan, mung kah ne panu de sapa ramin. Wang pkl 3 brupagi, anyap ceh inya pli gindong-gindong de awah. Kai ku jaji kasing. Biar ku kaset de amak masu ku napud kayuh he.

Andu dindi neh, ku pidaan dangan tayung babuk ku. Tantu lagi bala ne pidaan adeh inya kabus de binua ami ngarum he. Jaji kayuh de tebek ku he ihang inya de mbuh kabus ti, panu sibayuh ne tagan dunia iti.

De tarun, kan kita tebek bala dingan kita de plil joho, kai dep ngaba ganan neh, pak kita “wooo” ngaba neh. Kan nyahe neeh, saut ne balik minan “wooo”. Kan ne retek, aba nyiak neh. Tandah, bin ne ngajah adep maring.

Dedeg bala Bidayuh, dapih-dapih bala kita, baik de Bau, Padawan, Siburan ato Serian, sikokok/sikukuok/sekek ti ahi tanen neh ngin ne babar ngaban agah pingabus ato de kai tanggah. Pak mua lagi masi mikir ngin bala de puan cirita ti mbuh anyap.

p.s. cirita sikokok de ngade, ira madah buruh giradak wang ne pli biangun wang bingarum, nanda inya mbuh ira kabus ato adeh kayuh nyinduk.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

Picture Source: Wikipedia

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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)