I try to simplify the step by step of the Bird Festival procedure as below for easy understanding and rmemorization at the finger tips.
RIPIH GAWAI BURONG
1. BAUM GAWAI kena nimpoh ari ngau bumai bedandang
2. 2 MINGGU NYENDIAKE PARENGKA GAWAI
Nutok beras amat ngau pulut kena mandoh tuak ngau penganan
Ngaga raran ngau duran ba tebing ai ngau begendang rayah 3 kali maya ngalih ari
Ngerendam beras di ai ngau begendang rayah 5 kali kira jam 6 lemai
Ngelulun asi ngau miring ti diengka ba duran
Ngelumpang asi alu mandoh tuak alu begendang rayah 3 kali
Ngumpul jelu baka babi ngau manok kena 2 minggu
Ngambi ngabang ngau temuku tali
4. SARI SEBEDAU GAWAI NYADI
Begigake perengka piring ari babas baka:
- Pisang Jait (wild banana fruit),
- Engkudu & trong fruits,
- Lengki palm leaves & its shoot,
- Banjang palm leaves & its shoot,
- Batak shoots, flowers of buot, tepus, engkenyang and others planted on the padi field,
- Smoked gerama crabs, kusing bats and fish with white scales
Bala indu begagake parengka piring ti tau bari:
- Cook white, yellow and black glutinous rice
- Fry penganan iri buns
- Cook sungkui cake
- Cook hard boiled eggs
- Cook ketupat rice
- Fry popped rice (letup) and sago flour.
Bala lelaki munoh jelu ngau ngupah
5. ARI NIMANG PANTAR
Ngaga pantar endor duduk ba antara ruai ngau tempuan alu begendang rayah 3 kali
Beranchau tikai ba ruai
Muai antu rua
Nyambut urang nasak ba tengah laman
Nabar burong jai – ngena 13 gelas tuak ti 7 gelas dirup urang nasak alu 6 gelas diirup tuai gawai
Miau ngau manok
Niki ke rumah alu niti daun sepemanjai rumah
Miau urang nasak ngau manok
Nyibur urang nasak ngena ai aus, ai untong ngau ai basu alu meri makai
Enti raup ketupong, tabar ngau 50 gelas tuak ti 30 diirup lemambang alu 20 diirup tuai gawai enti burong didinga semak ari rumah lemambang.
Enti pimpin jaloh, tabar ngau 70 gelas tuak, 40 ngek lemambang alu 30 ngek tuai gawai.
Bala urang nasak manchak babi ba kaki tangga
Bala lemambang dibai niti rumah alu berengka mengap ngau bala urang nasak
Miau bala lemambang ti udah duduk ba ruai tuai gawai
Nyibur bala lemambang – 80 gelas, saut lemambang 70 gelas, 60 gelas urang ti bukai.
6. MALAM NIMANG PANTAR
Ngerandang jalai 3 kali
Lemambang mengap baka tu:
The chief bard will lead his followers to perform the Ngiga Tanah Alai Berumah chants (looking for a suitable land for a house site). If the longhouse has celebrated the festival before, the lead bard will lead his followers to chant a ritual song called Ngerara Rumah (To recite why the house is made ready for a grand festival).
- Ngading Iyang Lemambang (Invocations of the bards’ guardian spirits).
- Nyerayong Pandong (Covering the shrine with pua kumbu).
- Lemambang belaboh mengap niti rumah (The bards begin to sing their chants along the house gallery).
- Beranchau Tikai (Spreading of the mats).
- Lemambang berunsut ngena ubat enda layu – The bards anoint their body with charms to prevent themselves from being cursed by anyone or spirits.
- Ngerintai Tuai Laut (naming the spiritual Malay chiefs invited to the feast).
- Ngerintai Tuai Dayak (naming the spiritual Dayak leaders to the feast).
- Ngerintai Tuai Orang Panggau (calling upon the spirit chiefs of Orang Panggau to the feast).
- Ngerintai Tuai Orang Gellong (calling upon the spirits chiefs of Orang Gellong to the feast).
Ngalu Petara (Welcoming the invited spirits to the feast).
Ngiga Orang diasoh ngambi Sengalang Burong ngabang (looking for the young men to send invitation to Sengalang Burong to the feast).Lemambang mengap bakatu:
- Bujang Lelayang seduai Bujang Kesulai Begari deka nurun ngambi ngabang (A swift bird and a butterfly dressed themselves to fetch Sengalang Burong).
- Ambai mekal seduai enggau ubat (their sweetheart equip them with charm).
- Bujang Lelayang seduai Bujang Kesulai nurun ngejang ka rumah (A swift bird and a butterfly depart the longhouse).
Datai ba menoa bunsu ribut (arrival at the country of Wind god where they seek his help in sending out the invitation to Sengalang Burong Home in the sky).
- Bunsu Ribut ngambi ngabang (The wind God sends out the festival invitation).
7. ARI KETERUBAH GAWAI BURONG NYADI
Sabong gawai kira jam 7 pagi
Ngambi antu pala
Nyambut Pengabang (welcoming the guest).
Warleader are given 18 glasses of rice wine, Penghulus 17 and the longhouse headmen 12 glasses. Other people receive 8 or 9 glasses each.
Antu Pala ari rumah bukai dibai ngabang (old smoked skulls are brought to the feast). – Timang antu pala
Kenyalang Lama ai rumah bukai dibai ngabang (The old sacred statues of the Rhinoceros hornbill are brought to the feast). -Timang kenyalang
Ke tanju lemai gawai deka nyadi (Celebration on the tanju on the eve of the feast). At about 3.00 pm of the festival day,
– beranchau di tanju, gantung pua kumbu, munoh babi sengajap, nali kalingkang tauka tiang chandi, bala indu betenun ningkau telu ngau kempok asi pulut.
– bala tuai duduk semak lalau tanjau, bala bujang berani duduk ngelingi tiang chandi
– lemambang mai antu pala rumah urang ke empu gawai ke tanju alu nimang antu pala.
– lemambang mai kenyalang rumah urang ke empu gawai ngau antu pala ari rumah bukai ke tanju alu nimang nimang kenyalang.
– lemambang engka antu pala ngau kenyalang semak tiang chandi.
– bala urang nasak miring, begendang rayah alu besampi ngagauke Sengalang Burong ngau bala iya datai ngabang.
Berayah Ngelingi Pun Sabang (Dancing around the foot of cordyline plants). After the miring ceremony, gendang rayah music is again played. At the same time, ketebong drums are beaten and steel adzes resound; this music called gendang pampat to call Sengalang Burong and his followers to come down from the sky. With repeated war cries, a band of warriors performed the war dance (ngajat rayah) around the cordyline fronds at the foot of the ritual pole (tiang chandi).
Antu Pala enggau Kenyalang dibai lemambang pulai ari tanju alu mupu ka antu pala ari bilik ke bilik
Makai lemai (dinner). After all the guests have returned from the tanju to the ruai, they are served supper.
Nyugu babi (combing the sacrificial pig’s hair). After the supper, the feast chief waves a rooster and announces that the nyugu babi procession is to take place. Begandang panjai
Ngerandang jalai, ngelalau and berayah pupu buah rumah ceremony
Lemambang nyambung pengap ari malam nimang pantar sampai ke pagi
– This time the narratives (pengap) started with Wind God arrival, which scared off the slave of Sengalang Burong, Bujang Pedang, due to its awesome noise and might as the Wind God blows its way into their country in the dome of the sky.
The sequences of events in the narratives (pengap) by the bards are as follows:
- Bujang Pedang ninga auh ribut lalu rari (Bujang Pedang hears the sound of a mighty wind and runs away).
- Bini Sengalang Burong chelap bulu (Sengalang Burong’s wife is chilled by the wind).
- Ribut mangka ka rumah Sengalang Burong (the wind blows hard on Sengalang Burong longhouse).
- Ngiga kayu rumbang tutong (looking for hollow wood for the drum).
- Sida Ketupong Mansang ngayau (Ketupong and his friends go to war – looking for fresh head to be brought to the human feast).
- Menoa Besi Api (The land of the flint).
- Menoa Tuchok (The land Tuchok lizard).
- Menoa Sandah (The land of Sandah).
- Menoa Rioh (The land of Rioh insect).
- Menoa Nendak (The land of Nendak bird, white rumped shama).
- Menoa Beragai Samatai Manang Burong (The land of Beragai bird).
- Menoa Kelabu Papau Nyenabong (The land of Kelabu Papau bird).
- Menoa Pangkas tauka Kutok (The land of Pangkas bird or Kutok).
- Menoa Bejampong (The land of Bejampong bird).
- Menoa Embuas (The land of Embuas bird).
- Menoa Ketupong (The land of Ketupong bird).
- Menoa Kunding Burong Malam (The land of Kunding).
Menoa Rintong Langit Pengulor Bulan.
- Bala Ketupong nyurong lalu ngaga langkau kayau (Ketupong and his warriors erect the war hut).
- Ketupong enggau Beragai matak bala (Ketupong and Beragai led their warriors to war).
- Bala Ketupong nuntong ba rumah Beduru or Nising (Ketupong’s troop landed at Beduru’s longhouse).
- Wa Puji (Songs of praise).
- Wa Empas (Songs of anger).
- Pulai Ngabas (Return from spying).
- Sengalang Burong nusoi mimpi diri (Sengalang Burong relates his dream).
- Mimpi Ketupong (Ketupong relates his dream).
- Mimpi Beragai (Beragai relates his dream).
- Bala Ketupong ngerampas (Ketupong’s troop start to attack).
Datai ba tinting pangka sealing pulai nyerang (Arrive at the ridge where the warriors shout victoriously on return from battle).
- Bini Sengalang Burong nyambut igi balang (Sengalang Burong’s wife receives the precious skull).
- Aki Lang Sengalang Burong mai ngabang (Sengalang Burong leads his people to attend the festival).
- Mansa Tembawai Lama Sengalang Burong (passing the old house site of Sengalang Burong).
- Menoa Bujang Jegalang (The land of Bujang Jegalang).
- Mansa Batu Ansah (Passing the whetstone).
- Mansa pun buloh berani (passing the foot of Buloh Berani).
- Pintu Langit (Arrival at the door of the sky).
- Bala Sengalang Burong ngetu ba pintu langit ke rapit (Sengalang Burong and his followers stops at the closed door of the sky).
- Menoa Aki Ungkok (The country of Aki Ungkok).
- Menalan Sabong (The cockfighting ring).
- Ngerara rampa menoa (Appreciating the view of the landscape).
- Menoa Raja Siba Iba (Raja Siba Iba’s country).
- Menoa Burong Raya (The country of Burong Raya bird).
- Menoa Sera Gindi (The country of Sera Gindi).
- Menoa Bengkong apai Kuang Kapong (the country of Bengkong, father of Kuang Kapong bird).
- Menalan Besai (a widely cleared space).
- Menoa Bhiku Bunsu Petara (The country of high priest of the god).
- Menoa Selampandai (The country of Selampandai).
- Menoa Raja Rengayong – Kijang (The country of Raja Rengayong the barking deer).
- Menoa Rusa – Bunji (The country of sambar deer).
- Menoa Raja Remaung (The country of the tiger chief).
- Kendi Aji (The road junction).
- Kampong Baung (The lonely forest).
- Menoa Aki Dunju (The country of Aki Dunju).
- Menoa Durong Biak (The country of the younger Durong).
- Menoa Bunsu Petara (The country of Bunsu Petara).
- Menoa Bangkong (The landing place).
- Bala Sengalang Burong mandi (Sengalang Burong and his followers bathes).
- Bini Sengalang Burong mandi (Sengalang Burong’s wife bathes).
- Bala Sengalang Burong begari (Sengalang Burong and his followers dressed up for the festival). Bala Indu besanggol (The women plait their hair into buns).
- Bala Sengalang Burong niki ka rumah (Sengalang Burong and his followers walks into the feasting house).
Ngalu ka Sengalang Burong (Welcoming Sengalang Burong). This event is done early in the morning with the feast chief waving his rooster announcing the arrival of Sengalang Burong.
Lemambang Nenjang Sengalang Burong (The bards sing a song in praise of Sengalang Burong).
Another nyugu babi procession is held at about 6.30 am and the pigs are sacrificed, their liver being divined by the experts.
A morning meal is also served again.
8. ARI KEDUA PENUTUP GAWAI BURONG
Miau ka manok kena ka tanju (waving of the rooster to announce the ceremony at the open-air varendah). The feast chief waves a rooster and announces the second event on the open-air varendah is about to happen, as on the previous day and invited every guest to gather at the tanju.
Miring (Dividing the offerings). This is performed by the warrior groups who prepare seven offerings on seven trays at the tanju. When finished, it is covered using the best pua kumbu blankets placed carefully over it. These offerings are placed at the foot of the ritual pole, and some of the offerings are hung at each end of the longhouse roof.
While miring is going on, the bards once more bring the skull and the hornbill statue to the tanju accompanied by their ritual song called timang antu pala and timang Kenyalang respectively, same as what was done on the previous day.
After the skull has been placed on the winnowing basket (chapan) and the hornbill statue placed closed to the skulls, gendang rayah music is played, while the leading warriors (raja berani) performed the ngerandang jalai dance circling the tanju three times to clear the space off the evil spirits.
Then this is followed by a rayah dance performed by the ordinary warrior (bujang berani) known as ngelalau, also circling the tanju three times. This serves to fence the path already cleared by the raja berani warriors earlier.
Shortly after ngelalau dance, older men representing each longhouse invited to the gawai, perform another dance, which is called Berayah Pupu Buah Rumah. They encircle the tanju three times as was previously done.
After the dances are over, one of the most influential war leaders recites a long sampi or prayer, inviting Sengalang Burong and his followers to come down from haven to attend the feast. As he recites this prayer, gendang pampat music is played.
Another man beats an iron adze (bendai) inviting the spirits including the spiritual war heroes from Panggau Libau and Gellong world to join the feast.
The invited guest like the warleader, hereditary chiefs and community elders has been seated in their respective place of honour during this part of the ceremony.
In this event, the warriors eat raw or half-roasted chicken and pork meat at the foot of the ritual pole. This is done to encourage the invited spirits, who are believed to have come to do likewise, as a show of fearlessness, bravery or courage especially among the warrior groups.
Food and rice wine are continuously served throughout this event.
Fearsome war cries can be heard frequently as the event climaxed.
Eventually, as the ceremony comes to an end, the bards carried the smoked skulls and the sacred hornbill statue inside the longhouse again. The statue is brought by the bard into individual family room to bless each family as they chant their ritual timang Kenyalang song. The bard, who bears the skull, will leave the skull at the Feast chief gallery (ruai) inside a winnowing basket and they themselves (without the skull) will enter individual family room chanting the timang antu pala songs.
While other bards performed the timang Kenyalang and timang antu pala chant at individual family room, another bard who sang the Gawai Burong festival songs (pengap) during the previous night, start to bless one woman from each family. These women have been gathered and seated in line on the pantar of the Feast chief gallery (ruai). This event is called Denjang Indu (the blessings of the women). The songs may be repeated many times, as they need to bless these women representatives individually and may take considerable time.
Ngamboh (forging war knives for the gawai host). Following the bedenjang ceremony, the bards chant another song to symbolises forging (ngamboh) of the war knives for the host.
Other chants including ngiga tanah (to look for suitable farming land) to symbolise the blessing for good farming years to come.
The final chant by the bards would be the mulai ka samengat (sending back the spirits and the souls) to the Peak of Rabong Mountain, the domain of the spirit and souls of the bards and shamans.
After the bards have finished chanting their ritual songs, the feast chief waves a rooster along the gallery to announce that the feast has ended. Their respective owners have returned all skulls presented during the festival to their former places, and the hornbill statue returned to their honourable place at their owner’s loft for reuse in future.
After the conclusion of the ceremony, the people of the host longhouse will avoid normal work for seven days. Gendang rayah music is played every day before sunset to invite universal spirits to visit the house and give their blessings during these seven-day periods.
At the end of seventh day, the ritual-offering pole (tiang chandi or kalingkang) is dismantled and the cordyline palm (sabang) is planted on the upriver side of the house as a mark of respect to commemorate the festival just completed.