Friday, January 28, 2011

Jimalang Tanak- an earth Spirit

12:55 AM

Jimalang-tanak
Jimalang Tanak- Image: The Trustees of The British Museum & Paul Beavitt

The Melanau believe that we are living alongside with many spirits. Each of the spirits have their proper place and territories and these must be respected. In general these spirits remain in their territories, but it is believed that they sometimes seek human company if possible, particularly to feed off human blood. Most of the time these spirits will cause illness (pedéh) and must be cured as soon as possible. Worst case the Feelings (Naseng) will badly hurt and the lost of soul (Bedua) or even life (Nyawa) may occured.

In order to avoid such incidence certain prohibition or taboo (Palei) must be followed. One of these Palei:

ones are not allowed to take shelter under a tree whenever there is a Sunshower (Ujan Nyeraheing)or during lightning (Kekelat).

It is believed that an Earth Spirit called Jimalang Tanak will also take a shelter under the tree at that moment. Jimalang Tanak lives in the forest close to human houses.

When it is in contact with human, it will cause a severe itching, which when scratched by a patient, produces open sores. This conditions was said not to be responsive to western medicine.

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