Asal Iban nemu adat enda iboh ngulitka orang gayu

Menggin Meets the Antu Gayu:

 

While his son Sera Gunting was away at Sengalang Burong’s house, Menggin often went to hunt in the forest, with his favorite blow pipe. There were many things in his mind as he set out on his hunting trip. He would be more cautious about the birds he would shoot down learning from his past adventure. He was also thinking about his son’s journey to his grandfather house. He knows he well looked after there for he had seen their affection for each other when they there before. He was also thinking if he would live long enough to see his son’s return and to be able to know what’s their future would be. He also ponders if he would ever meet his lovely wife again in his life time. He never wished to remarry after his separation with Dara Tinchin Temaga. A hunting trip would give him a chance to escape daily life activity and allows him to ponder the uncertainties in his life. His only companion was his favorite blow pipe he had used when he first met his wife a very long time ago. He would always ask his blow pipe, “What would you bring me today. I wish it’s something for my worried mind.”

One day, as he was searching for game in the forest he met a man who, like himself, was armed with a blow pipe. In the course of their conversation, each man claimed to be more skilled with his blowpipe than the other. After a vehement argument, they agreed to settle their argument with a blow pipe shooting contest, in which each person would shoot seven darts each onto a nearby rock. Whoever failed to make his dart penetrate and stick onto the rock was to be killed by the winner.

Menggin was extremely worried least he should be the loser. As they were preparing to shoot, he noticed a pudu tree a few yards away, and there upon asked his opponent to wait while he eased himself nearby to urinate. He approached the foot of the pudu tree and secretly pricked its bark with the end of his dart to let the latex out. He then applied the latex from the tree to all the points of each of his seven darts. He then rejoined his opponent to start the contest. They both shot at the rock and all Menggin’s seven darts stuck to the stone while his opponent’s dart fell to the ground. Seeing that none of his opponent’s dart stuck to the stone, Menggin drew out his knife to kill the stranger as they had agreed earlier. The stranger at once protested as he had taken the agreement as a joke.

He was kneeling on the ground to beg Menggin to spare his life in exchange for valuable jars and brass gongs. Menggin then asked the stranger what his name was. He told Menggin that he is the spirit of longevity, Antu Gayu. On hearing this, Menggin said that he would only spare the stranger his life if he would give him his prized possession, a charm that possessed the power of longevity. The stranger at first protested that he does not possess such a charm, but Menggin threatened to kill the stranger first and search his belonging later. Hearing this, the stranger finally agreed to hand over his prized possession to him to save his own life. The stranger then told Menggin that the charm is called ubat buah dilah tanah, literally means a “charm of the fruit of the land tongue”.

 

After receiving the charm, which was as big as a hen’s egg, Menggin tasted it and found that it was very bitter, so he spat it out. He tasted it for the second time, and found it to be very sweet and spat it out again. The third time he tasted it, he found the taste to be sour. The stranger then told Menggin that as long as he never reveals to anybody the reason for his longevity, he will never die. The Antu Gayu then disappeared into the forest with his blowpipe.

Menggin continued his hunt for game in the forest to be brought home with his favorite blowpipe. He knows very well that he will still be alive to see his son’s return from the house of Sengalang Burong. His favorite blowpipe will always be with him as long as he lives.

Menggin lived to such a great age that span seven generations. Every generation consistently asked him the reason for his longevity, but he refused to satisfy their curiosity. Finally, he told them the story. As he spoke, he grew weaker and weaker, appeared to be aging quickly and his body became smaller and smaller. Before he disappeared, he decreed that when he died, no mourning period need to be observed for anybody who lived exceeding fourth generations of living descendant. The stone which the Antu Gayu gave to Menggin is still in the possession of Santap’s grand-children in Bugau territory to this day. At the time of his death, Menggin was living with Berdai family, the wife of another famous Iban Chief and War leader named Betie “Bujang Brauh Gumbang”.

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