Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Traditional Cock Fighting (Sabung Manok)

For the very first time in my life, I enjoyed my experience on cock-fighting. In Sarawak, cock fighting is considered legal as long as they get police permits especially during Gawai season. For the photos below, it was taken during a "Gawai Antu" celebration at a longhouse at Ulu Kanowit. For Dayak Iban of this longhouse community, cockfighting and other gambling activities are allowed only for special gawai celebrations.





THE CONTENDERS



Some of the cock fighters are captured on my camera. Of course I cannot captured all, as there are too many. This remind me to Gladiator during Rome empire. However, so pity to the cocks, some of them might having their last meal...



THE SPECTATORS

As expected, most of the spectators are male. None are underage, and only few ladies. They are coming all the way from nearest longhouses, bringing their own gladiators...



COCK-GLADIATORS IN ACTION

The action start with negotiating the bet, including preparation of their cock-gladiators with a sharp cock-fighting knife known by the locals as "taji"...


THE FIGHTING OF THE TOURNAMENT



The only thing that can stop them is heavy rain weather. Fortunately, the most expensive betting was done right before the mother nature shown her anger. The gladiators are fighting to their last breath but the result was decided result draw. Both gladiators was dead on the spot...



THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS



For the cock-fighters, they still can smiled even though they lose their gladiators. As a sportsmanship spirit, there must be a winner and losers. No point for arguments. For the cock-gladiators, lose means he lose his life. For the winners, he has no prize to proud of. Or even, his master is not promising that he will be given a special treatment for his life survival. Most of them will end their life on the frying pan...


SOMETHING TO REMEMBER



From a chick becoming to the cock-gladiator, the cock being given special food and train to be a fighter. This is similar to the gladiators during Rome empire. For modern world, some of us being fighting to each other due to power and money. Those who well prepared for it, knows how to survive and strong back-bone will be the winner... For human, the "taji" means money.




Tradition here means that cock-fighting is not a must for Dayak Iban community, anyway the cock-fighting activities has been recognized as a culture for Iban community for centuries on special gawai occasions. Compare to the modern cock-fighting in other countries, this activities is not mainly for betting, fun and spirit of sportsmanship is a major encouragement.

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