Honey Tree Song, 5-7


5. "Farming Rites and Sacrifice"

pp. 200-204 5.3 Tabur Sibaok ("Sibaok Prayer")

[Bidayuh -- Serian, 1st Division]

p. 201

"Sibaok ... came upon a rambutan fruit tree, the sibu chanchang bibalik batang rambutan tree which grows upside down from the sky. Sibaok climbed a nearby binoh barih tree, and he leaned from it and plucked a rambutan, which he threw down to the ground. But instead it flew up to the sky. He climbed onto the rambutan tree. While enjoying the fruit, he began to climb upwards. ... He climbed far up into the sky and found that he was actually climbing down into another land. There ... the sun ... introduced him to the grandfather of the moon. ... When the grandfather of the moon was satisfied that Sibaok had learned all he had to know, he made a rope and put Sibaok in a box and lowered him down from the sky. Sibaok landed on the roof of his father’s house. ...


Converge to us, spirits, guiding spirit of the basket

for offering food for the souls, shaken for calling the souls.


Grandmother of Ampuh, Sisok Daun,

the folded leaf pierced with stakes and hung

p. 202

under the floor of the sleeping place ... .


... the grandmother of the gura bird,


the grandmother of Santam,


the grandmother of Padung,


Abar Kingi, the grandmother of Padai,


Jijeh Pesah, the grandmother of Kangkung Tikulang,


the grandmother of Padung Slimang,


the grandmother of Pintu Lamuh Ari,

who looks after the junction of the two roads. ...


Dara Dumon, who grows the rain; ...


Bujang Nyangku Singa Bue, a lion mane of the river;


Umpang Pinang Mayang Ure, an opened flower of the betelnut;


Ure Mayang Bujang Lanyo, an opened flower of the ijok palm;


Sibaok Bibulu Dada, who is hairy chested;


Singiang Brani Ati, whose heart is brave.

p. 203

the king of the

siluang fish


topah fish


semah fish


dungan fish


mpahat fish


Spirit of the land of the village of Mentu,

Tumuk Tumpu Tungan Tagan.


Spirit of Nyangkang,


spirit of Nyangu,


spirit of Bidet,


spirit of Pisuh,


spirit of Lungo,


spirit of Puol,


spirit of Kaluh, king of the region.


Spirit of Mahi, the father of Tanyu,


spirit of Manoh, the father of Lapung,


spirit of the grandfather of Nasu,


spirit of the grandfather of Ruda.


Spirit of the land of the village of Bunan,


Mpas, the father of Mais,


Mais, the father of Patin,


Panchu, the father of Enchangai,


Maka, the father of Panai {cf. /PANAY/ island in Philippines},


Bel, the father of Kuang,


Tapen, the father of Dagang,


Baum, the father of Gireng,


the grandfather of Tua {cf. /TUA-motu/ islands in Polynesia},


the grandfather of Tiga,


the grandfather of Jamat,

p. 204

the spirit of the grandfather of Dayah Kudoi,


the grandfather of Murui,


the grandfather of Banyai,


the grandfather of Lian,


the grandfather of Pachum."

pp. 212-214 5.8 Inchalan Pinibak Padi Bauh ("Blessing of the Padi at the First Day of Harvest")

[Bukar Sadong Bidayuh – Serian, 1st Division]

p. 213

"Hear, oh Tampa, god of the land of Mentu.


I ask for ... the multiplying medicines, ... the medicines that can make rice increase in the jar --


the magical stones come from the betel leaves,


the phallic stone ["a long stone considered to be an aid in bringing about fertility in humans"],


the healing stone,


the fishing stone for attracting fish,


the sticking stone ["to help keep the spirit of the padi close, so that it will stick to its original owner, altho the physical body of the padi may have been of necessity sold"],


the welding stone ["has the power to help make broken things whole"].


I ask for ... the stone that makes things numb and tasteless, which will make the padi be tasteless when it is eaten, ... now and tomorrow. ...

p. 214

The grandmother of Gura,

{cf. p. 202}


grandmother of Santam,


grandmother of Santag,


grandmother of Sungkun,


grandmother of Magoi,


grandmother of Ambun". {cf. /AMBoN/ or /AMBoiNa/ island}

p. 212 "The magic stones referred to in this prayer are stones which are revealed through dreams as having a particular power." {cf. the stones which are revealed through dreams as having a particular power in Californian Indian shamanism}

pp. 214-225 5.9 Pita Amen Uyan Uma ("Prayer Rites for the Farming Year")

[Kenyah -- Upper Baram, 4th Division]

pp. 214-216

pp. 217-219

p. 214 bali plaki (‘spirit hawk’)

p. 217 bali plaki (‘spirit hawk’)

p. 215 bali isit (‘spirit spiderhunter’)

p. 218 spiderhunter

kieng (‘kingfisher’)

bali kieng (‘spirit kingfisher’)

p. 216 bukeng bird

p. 219 bukeng bird

tela>o (Grandfather Barking Deer)

Grandfather Barking Deer

p. 223 "Bali Pusa, spirit of the inner fibers of bamboo, ... straighten our limbs, straighten our bones"



pp. 238-245 6.5 Barih Ngiriyu

[Biatah Bidayuh – Serian, 1st Division]



simile for it


Kiraki {cf. /KeRAKI/ tribe in Papua} mountain

spur of the eagle


Miringgi mountain

flat tray


Mpunyuk mountain

dribbling damar torch


Ntinyuh mountain

argus pheasant


Simangat mountain

cover for a tray


Silundu mountain

top of a honey tree


Sidarah mountain

(having mpidang plant at its peak)


Sibasi mountain

spur of an eagle [again!]


Limpayong mountain

color of the fur of the barking deer


Garu mountain



Tamai mountain

hanging set of gongs and drums


Lanyo mountain

snail with its horns raised


Pekan mountain

stump of the jantang tree


Silabau mountain

hanging edges of a woman’s skirt


Sinuwi mountain

(barely visible in mists)


Silabat mountain

(jointed with the clouds)


Menyuku mountain

thread unwinding


Gilam mountain

(is also called Kumpang mountain)


Kaladan mountain

hand of bananas


durian tree

kiladan tree


lansat fruit

alin fruit


rambai fruit

offering platform


poisonous tubuh fruit

small cooking-pot


umak fruit

mpusoh sour fruit


sago palm

to belong to the long-tailed monkey


betelnut vine

wild sintaguh plant


coconut palm

thorny palm


ijok palm

wild ijok palm



hand of padi bananas


sea water

melting lead


house top



woven atap leaves

dead pasah bamboo



sticky rubber



betel leaf



lime powder



giring betelnut








if __ is finished

then use __ as substitute


food supply

pinang plant



sintaguh leaves


lime powder

ground cockleshells



dedah moss


girls for company

"the company of the long-tailed female monkey that lives on the boulders." {cf. [Bodish legend of] female monkey as ancestress}


__ tree

is __



sleeping-place for monkey



perching-place for hornbill


alah fruit

nesting-pace for white stork


the __

maketh sudden sound like unto __






argus pheasant




p. 239 "the soul’s sickness is cause by bad unlucky young girls"

p. 240 "the bad luck is ... as a young pheasant; the bad luck rests on top of the head" {would this imply that Maya deities depicted with birds atop their heads are bad-luck bringers?}


7. "Building and Journeying"

p. 265 7.1 Mipis Indu Tungkang Ramin Ato Ntangan Bauh ("Blessing of the Chief Post Erected for the new Longhouse")

[Bukar Sadong Bidayuh – 1st Division]

"oh Tampa, ...

Let us both cast away the curses of the __ ."

rasek grass

lalang grass

bilamai grass

bintihung grass

girayan vines

pp. 266-270 7.2 Gawai Panggah ("Blessing of the Head House")

[Biatah Bidayuh – Kuching, 1st Division]


__ fruit

is eaten by __









sambhur deer



" "







p. 269 "offerings of rice mixed with lime juice to feed the spirits of all abandoned houses."

pp. 274-278 7.5 Balian Utan Ping ("Song of Utan Ping")

[Kenyah -- Upper Baram, 4th Division] ("Utan Ping, an adventurous women")

p. 275

"Utan Ping puts on full wardress, ...

Utan Ping, she of Apoi Nian, in her walk treads like the tiger -- ...

Utan Ping, in her boat designed with stripes like the nawan snake,

coming up the river they call Telang Usan ... --

p. 276

Slowly the great Kau rock crumbles into pieces

before the movement of her boat ... . ...


Sharply darting everywhere are the eyes of Utan Ping.

Truly, the great Tujo rock breaks apart before her path".

p. 279 7.6 Tivai Tai Buau ("Prayer for Journeying to Find a New Home")

[Silat Penan – Upper Baram, 4th Division]

"Bale Asi, spirit of the Kingfisher bird"

"Bale Pengulung, spirit of calling omen birds"

"Bale Ke>eng, spirit of omen birds"

"Bale Plaki, spirit of the hawk"

"Bale Telejan, spirit of the Crested Jay"


Carol Rubenstein : The Honey Tree Song : Poems and Chants of Sarawak Dayaks. Ohio U Pr, Athens, 1985.