Tiwah Rituality, a Funeral Ceremony

Tiwah rituality exists in Dayak ethnic, Kalimantan Island. Dayak people believe that the spirit of dead people when they died should go to the next world, it is death world. If the spirit does not go to the death world, it will disrupt the people who still alive. Therefore, people there should do the rituality after people died by holding certain funeral ceremonies. This funeral ceremony purposes to make sure the soul arrives in the death world and to recover the disrupted nature balance because of the death. There are two kinds of funeral ceremony in Dayak. The first kind exists in Modang, Kayan, and Iban people which only hold one funeral ceremony. The second kind exists in Ngaju and Ot Danum people which hold two funeral ceremonies.


In the second tiwah rituality step, the corpse is held for a while, then people clean it, and then it is put in the grave. In every kind of funeral process, the corpse is treated with several ways, put into a bier, jug, or sacked it with the straw mat, bury, burn, or put it into a big, beautiful, and high dome which is called Sandong.


The big grave or house grave is a place for the dead people in the final step of second funeral ceremony. Putting the dead people there is done n several years after the people died. In some places, this big grave shape resembles with the real house but with a high roof. In the top of the roof, there is two statue heads of dragon which is putting it tongue out; sometimes, it describes the thunderbolt. The dragon means about the death world. By bringing the soul of dead people there, it will make them reborn in the next life. The ornament of twisted dragon also can be found in the wall.


It is held tiwah rituality for about a month. All of people with different caste in society can attend and join this funeral ceremony without separating any status levels in society. The more people attend there, the more inexpensive the expense that should be paid by the family of the dead people. Like the other ceremony tradition, tiwah rituality also uses Sesajen (special foods for the God) and the sacred dance called Manganjan. Moreover, there is also a bond sculpture, or it is so called as Sapundu, that will be stabbed by the family who perform this funeral ceremony.

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