Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bulan Pengelawah Umik (The Month of the Lesser Clear Water)

10:49 PM

Buta biyaih
Photo by: Douglas Scortegagna


This month coincides with the month of April.


During this month, it is said all the fish will come down to the sea as the sea will turn a greenish hue which is a call from the sea to the fish that it is time for them to surface. This marks the second month.


For the Melanau, this is the time for the fishermen to go to the sea to catch fish. This marks the first fishing season for them.(During olden times, the Melanau fishermen are known for their ‘barong panau’, a fishing sailboat which could go out to sea for weeks on end.

These boats also double as traveling boats as well as for trading and fishing. Today, the ‘barong panau’ is extinct as there are none left skilled enough to build one. A picture of one can be found on one of the Brooke era postage stamp.)

source: Disappearing culture

The calendar is a translation from handwritten notes of the ancient calendar given by the late Godfrid Albert Yaman @ Yaman bin Guan, who was also the founder of the Melanau Associations throughout Sarawak.

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