Saturday, February 19, 2011

What is Seladai?

3:51 PM

Photo of A-Bayuh (Shaman) by: Kampung Sesok

A Seladai will assist the Shaman during the ritual. He also need to greet the spirits that come to visit the ceremony. A typical words said by a Seladai while welcoming the Spirits:
Do not be afraid. You are invited by your Grandfather. It is he who is in charge of this crowd and friendly occasion.

In Melanau Shamanistic Healing , Seladai is actually a designated post given by a Shaman ( a-bayuh) to a person who have little or no knowledge about the spirit world. A loose translation of seladai in english is Lay Assistance for the Shaman.

A Seladai is needed during a ritual healing called Payun. Payun means to swing and the healing required the patient to rock on a rattan swing forwards and backwards in the direction of west and east during the ritual. Payun is also called "Pengajih segala pubat"- (end of remedies) because it is the last resort after all possible treatments came to no avail. It is the most elaborate and intricate and expensive bayuh.



During the Payun, the Shaman ( a-bayuh) is called Tama Ayun (Father of the Swing) or Tina Ayun (Mother of the Swing) if the shaman is a female. The Shaman will address himself as Apak Ayeng (Grandfather) or Mak Ayeng ( Grandmother) when talking to the audience. (a-ramai). The Shaman must have one lay assistance (seladai) eventhough other shaman may be helping. A Seladai must be in the house confinement for the entire ritual which normally took five, seven or even nine nights. During the confinement there are prohibitions on bathing, foods and intercourse with spouses. The Patient will be known as the pupil (murip).

A Seladai will assist the Shaman during the ritual. He also need to greet the spirits that come to visit the ceremony. A typical words said by a Seladai while welcoming the Spirits:

Do not be afraid. You are invited by your Grandfather. It is he who is in charge of this crowd and friendly occasion.

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2 comments:

  1. In my whole life, i saw this ritual 'payun' only once and in this whole wilderness of the melanau , i don't think this unique occation can be seen again.
    Just my thought;
    1st stage- Pebayoh , not healed- go to the
    2nd stage- Pegudak , not healed- go to the
    3rd n last stage - Payun

    Tenny Peter

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yup. the old ways have wisdom lies within them. We just need to search for it. The healing process tells a lot about the melanau philosophy and life. It may not look extravagant or scientific but once this culture dies, it is a lost to mankind :(

    ReplyDelete

 

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