Thursday, October 30, 2008


Narakng – The Revival of Selakau Biggest Celebration

A ritual at Kampung Pueh during Pesta Narakng in 2006

A Selakau leader offering"Nyangahan", a traditional blessing for the opening ceremony

It was in 1960’s when it was last celebrated. After it was almost forget by the younger generation, it was revive again, with a new breath in combination of modern and traditional way. In 2005, the Pesta Narakng was first celebrated after almost half a century in deep sleeping. Kampung Pueh was the reviver, with the support of YB Ranum Mina, who is also the sole YB from Selakau community.

The custom originated in Kalimantan several hundred years ago and was practiced by Selakau ancestors who migrated to Sarawak. The narakng procession was celebrated involving a few villages participated by over a hundred villagers, going on foot to visit one village after another.

Narakng in Selakau means lightening. This traditional celebration, normally in the conjuction of Gawai celebration for the blessing of their God calls “Jubata”. It is celebrate by visiting from kampong to another kampong in a group. In the past, they walked as far as from Kampung Pueh to Kampung Biawak which is about more than 30 km. In fact, there were no vehicles and even they walks through jungles to reach to their destination. It takes maybe one or two weeks to their last destination.

On their way, they will overnight in a few kampongs. All the way, traditional music is played and normally together with their traditional dance. On every kampong, they will be celebrating with a traditional dance and foods.

At each kampong, the villagers performed a different type of Salako dance - the “Totokng”, “Tarabakng”, “Tingkakok” and “Uwek Jongan”. Each kampong also welcomed the procession with Salako delicacies and demonstrated some of their rituals and handicrafts.
During the procession, the village elders also performed rituals to seek a bountiful harvest as well as good health and long life.

Back at the starting kampong, the procession was received with a welcoming dance called “Sikap Dayu”.

In 2006, this lost and found celebration was recognised and fully support by Jabatan Kebudayaan, Kesenian dan Warisan Negeri Sarawak.

A group of Selakau dancer is performing their "Uwek Jongan" dance

The participants are walking through the jungle track and Siru Dayak Longhouse

The leaders in Selakau traditional costume plays their traditional music during the marching

A tourist as one of the participant in Pesta Narakng

"Kaangkakng", Selakau traditional bamboo altar

I am proud to be one of the participant and for the first time used my traditional Selakau vest. Anyway, my family and I just afford to follow them by car. There is still a lot of Traditional Selakau Ritual like "Ngoncong", "Badukun", "Basansam", "Nyamah Pulo", "Ngalah Bangas", "Basunat", "Basansam" and etc,..etc.. This ritual is dwindling due to modernisation of their surroundings and great spreading of other religions among the Selakau community.


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