Wedding Preparation

General Preparations

As elsewhere in Sarawak, during festivities and celebrations, longhouse people communally work to decorate the longhouse. It is common to see the peng hud hanged along the gallery ruai of the longhouse and staked along the road leading to the amin of the wedding couple and also around the food preparation areas.

The peng’ hud is a traditional decoration made from the process of shaving wood from the rubber tree. In Long Bemang this decoration was in abundance and extending to the stage where the wedding took place. Coconut leaves were woven together and also used as decorations on the stage. The atmosphere was jovial during preparations, and from time to time women and men who would play pranks on each other, like rubbing soot onto the faces of friends and relatives alike.

Music & Dance Rehearsal

Traditional dances and sape playing are staple aspects of Kayan festivities and celebrations. Young and old alike participate in the dance rehearsals. The sape and the gong rehearsals were carried out mainly by men. It is common to hear the strumming of the sape and the beating of the gong in the background while longhouse people are working on various preparations.

Jako Preparation

Long before the actual wedding, the jako’ would have been prepared by the people of the longhouse, and like other preparation activities, the jako preparation is communal. The jako is used to “thatch” the roof of the two uma jako constructed for the wedding.

Rice Preparation

Rice preparation is the selukong made from glutinous rice. It is wrapped inside yellow bamboo leaves in triangular shape. The yellow bamboo leaves used to wrap the selukong in is called sang. Normally the selukong is soaked in water all day before the wedding itself. It is only boiled in the evening on the same day. Salt is added to the boiling water for flavour.

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