How Jelenggai married Bunsu Bintang Banyak

How Jelenggai married Bintang Banyak:

Long ago, during the generations that followed Sera Gunting, there lived an ancestor named Jelenggai. In those days everyone believed that a man would enjoy luck, should he obtain a certain fruit called the “Pauh Laba”. The tree on which this fruit appeared was said to grow from the navel of the waters, somewhere far away in the wide seas.

 

Jelenggai thus agreed and a marriage ceremony was held. Afterwards, the sisters told him that his wife’s name was Bunsu Bintang Banyak, the youngest of the Pleiades.

Three years after he had married Bunsu Bintang Banyak, the latter bore Jelenggai a son, whom they named Selamuda.

Each day the child’s mother warned Jelenggai not to open the lid of their only jar, called tajau pengajih.

One day while he and his son were alone in the house, he opened the lid of the jar. It was then the season in which farmers plant their padi. When he opened the lid, he saw through the mouth of the jar that there were thousands of men on the earth below planting their rice. Upon seeing this, he realized that he was in heaven, for all the men he saw appeared far below him. Unfortunately after this he became very worried. He kept on thinking of his own people on the earth below.

One day while he and his son were alone in the house, he opened the lid of the jar. It was then the season in which farmers plant their padi. When he opened the lid, he saw through the mouth of the jar that there were thousands of men on the earth below planting their rice. Upon seeing this, he realized that he was in heaven, for all the men he saw appeared far below him. Unfortunately after this he became very worried. He kept on thinking of his own people on the earth below.

The next day all the sisters wept. They eventually lowered Jelenggai and his son down from heaven to the earth below. Immediately, before they lowered them, Bunsu Bintang Banyak said, “Jelenggai, we are the seven stars who must be heeded by farmers on earth. If you see us sitting at the centre of the sky, you must at once start to plant your padi. If we have passed the centre of the sky when you plant your padi, your farm will be useless. Since the first day you came to stay with us, you have seen that, not for one day, have we remained at home without work to do. This is because we must move according to the season, so that men below may look to us for guidance in their farming.”

 

Bunsu Bintang Banyak commanded Jelenggai to remember her advice, and to tell thek son Selamuda that the location of the Pleiades should forever be an example to the sons of men as they farm on earth.

 

After Jelenggai and his son had returned to earth, all marveled at them, for they knew not who they were. Jelenggai related to them the story of how he had started his adventure beginning with the time he had sailed in search of the “Pauh Laba” fruit, to the time when he came to the sky and married the youngest of the Pleiades.

 

They believed him and from that time onwards all Dayak farmers have commenced planting padi when the Pleiades are sitting in the middle of the sky, following Bunsu Bintang Banyak’s advice to Jelenggai.

 

Eventually, after the death of Jelenggai, Selamuda, his son, married the daughter of Bunsu Landak. Through this marriage, Selamuda left his father’s house to live with his wife and her parents.

Selamuda curing Bunsu Jani’s father and married Dayang Manis Muka

In the year that followed his marriage, Selamuda’s father-in-law’s farm was constantly despoiled by troops of wild boars. In the end, Selamuda and his wife were compelled by his wife’s parents to guard the farm day and night. Even so, the wild boars took no notice of their shouts or the things they beat upon to frighten them away. Even while they ate their meals at night, the boars came to feed upon the crops around them.

Before she fled Dayang Manis Muka told Selamuda that she and her family and all the rest of the people in her house were pigs. She explained that she could no longer live with him, but must go home to her father’s house. She advised Selamuda that in the future whenever men wish to see their fate, either during sickness or in hopes of obtaining riches, they should kill a pig in order to divine with its liver. She also advised him to see that their son Begeri was brought up to be a good man and to remember the tradition of liver divination.

Source: http://gnmawar.wordpress.com/jerita-lama/iban-migration-peturun-iban/early-iban-migration-part-1/

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