A year or more after the completion of a permanent longhouse, the Tuai Rumah will formally discuss in a meeting with his people the celebration of a house warming festival called “Gawai Pangkong Tiang”. If all of the people agree to hold such a feast, a group of bards (lemambang) is invited to invoke Anda Mara, the deity of luck, with their pengap songs to bless the new building.3 In addition to this, the people of neighboring villages are invited to attend the festival. But before the celebration is held, two men and two women of un­blemished character are appointed to do the following:

1. The two women are to prepare the sacrificial offerings and on the eve of the feast oil all the foundation posts with kepayang oil.

2. Some time during the feast, the two men are to sit inside a pua kumbu (woven blanket) enclosure. One of them holds a bamboo container of cooked glutinous rice in his hand.

While the two men are sitting inside this enclosure (serayong pua), which is placed around the foundation post (tiang pemun), the owner of the post invites the guests to take their seats at his section of the gallery in order to witness the ceremony.

After the guests have taken their seats in order, the two men start to do their work in the following manner:

a. The first man strikes the post with the bamboo container filled with glutinous rice.

b. The second man says, “Akai! Why do you strike me without cause?”

a. The first man replies,” Because you do not help me obtain wealth!”

b. The second man says, “How can I help you, as you have not asked me to do so with offerings and prayers.”

a. The first man says, “Now I pray you to eat my offerings, so that you will help me to find wealth and happiness.”

b. The second man says, “If you give me sacrificial foods, then after this feast you will obtain wealth and happiness easily. In due course, your name will be heard by peoples of many races in this country.”

Details of this festival have been published on the article entitled Gawai Pangkong Tiang.



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