Thursday, December 18, 2008

Nangkat - Real or Virtual: A Place Where Visitors Meet And Discuss

Long ago, like most Dayak tribes, the Salako people lived in long houses or bantang. It is customary that visitors from far away who need to put up their nights in a long house would be hosted in a sami'. A sami' is the non partition section (from end to end) of the bantang, more like a common/living room shared together by the whole families living under one roof. Each family has their own separate partition which is called biik. A biik also usually refers to a family, thus biik mister so and so, would simply means the family of the person referred to.

Pintu (door) is the term used when referring to the number of families living in a bantang. This also will tell us how long the bantang is. A bantang ampat puluh pintu, would, for example, simply means a forty door long house with forty families living in each separate biik. The longest ever known bantang to have been built by the Salako people was a ninety nine door long house in the early 1800's under the wife-husband leadership of Ne' Ketep and Ne' Ngante. It was built in Kampokng Sidamak near the foot of Gunung Gading.

In the sami' there can be as many nangkats as there are the number of families living in the bantang. A nangkat is a cubicle where (especially adult male) tamoe (guests or visitors) from far away would spent their night(s) if the need arise. Here is a place where a lot of chats or discussion between hosts and guests would take place until as long as the guests and the hosts are not sleepy. If there aren't any visitors, the nangkat would be the most probable place where the bantang folks would chit chat at any 'free time' regardless if the sun is above head or not.

Today, Kampung Pueh (Kampokng Poe as the Salako calls it) is the only Salako village which still has a real bantang in every sense of it. Kampokng Poe is located towards the western end of Sarawak. It comes under the jurisdiction of Sematan Sub-District, a town popular with it's beaches and sea products.

Now however, quite a number young educated Salako are trying to emulate the bantang, sami' and nangkat concept and philosophy into the virtual world. Thus a young guy who nicknamed himself Biado (knife sheath) has setup a virtual Nangkat so that internet savvy Salakos from anywhere in the world could gather and share whatever ideas they may have amongst themselves. He aptly named this networking site as Nangkat Salako. In fact, it is not only for the Salako people but for all Dayaks and non Dayaks as long as they share the same philosophy of freely sharing ideas. Anybody especially any Salako who wishes to become a Nangkat Salako member must register to be one. Readers are kindly invited to click here to visit Nangkat Salako.

The sami'. On the left side are cubicles without doors called nangkat. Here on the sami', people are enjoying food served during a marriage celebration of a prominent personality's son. Notice how mature bamboos are used as dish containers.

Never underestimate an elderly dancer. Seen here is a peoples' representative (white shirt, with glasses) trying his best to outdo this elderly man who happens to be his uncle. Behind we can see people sitting on the nangkat.

See how graceful this elderly is dancing to the beat of the tuma'. Onlookers are clearly enjoying the show. Where else to celebrate if not in the sami' of the bantang?

How useful a nangkat can be. One can do anything on it, even playing a gulentang (musical instrument made of special wood) as the two elderly showed us.

"Long ago there were no such thing as beer", explains this old man. "Now", he says, "beer can make one dance or play the tuma' (a small wooden percussion) much better". Of course he seems to be oblivious to sound beat of the tuma' played by the present highest Salako community leader, Pemanca London Anak Tasin.

Nangkat is really a general utility cubicle. Put anything on it when there are no visitors or tamoe. Food, drinks, fruits, musical instruments will come handy on a nangkat.

To the left is a bounded sleeping mat made of pandan (pandanus mats). When everything is cleared, one can just unbound the mat to sleep on with pillow and a blanket included. Life could not be more simpler than this.

Visitors or tamoe sitting on the nangkat. Notice more pandanus mats at the back ever ready to be unbound on the nangkat for just about anyone to sleep on.

This is an enlarged thumbnail of the virtual Nangkat Salako creator. He calls himself Biado (knife sheath). This young guy is a graduate of Universiti Utara Malaysia in 2002. He now works in a management company in Kuching.

What one would see on Nangkat Salako front page.

The header on Nangkat Salako reads "Tampat Salako Batamu" which means "A place where Salako people meets" - virtually that is.

Another most recent view of Nangkat Salako front page.


tunabdulrazak said...

That's cool man. Well presented. Pics tell it all.

Tiyung Dayak said...

Nice blog, Kasia! Well, this is my first visit to your site. So, you are from Kampong Pueh, right? I do have “virtual friends” from Kampong Pueh (and Kampong Temaga, if I’m not mistaken!) in the 1980s (we were at primary school level at that time lah!) – a boy and a girl – but then we never met – until now! At that time, we used to communicate using snail mails… Well, I hope to meet them some other time in the future. If you happen to know this gentleman and the lady – Mr. Ramli Atuh & Mdm. (?) Dora Gambang, just send my regards to them, OK!

By the way, thanks for linking me up!

Yours truly,
Tiyung Dayak

Kasia Kanaun. said...

Hello Tiyung,

Idohleh, oku nakke so' Pueh. Oku so' Biawak.

Anywhere, thanks for visiting Salako Bato. Let us support one another by regularly visiting each other's blog.

Because "oto tih, nak ke nyaa" "adup samah adup" itn nyaa so' Serian. Heh...heh...

Exotic photos from Borneo said...

Dishes served in half-cut bamboo is indeed original.