Cel­e­brate Hari Moyang with the Mah Meri

The cel­e­bra­tion re­mains an im­por­tant event for this in­dige­nous group in Carey Is­land.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel - By CHESTER CHIN star2­travel@thes­tar.com.my

FOR the Mah Meri tribe, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant cel­e­bra­tions ob­served is Hari Moyang, or Spirit’s Day. And while Carey Is­land – the Mah Meri’s an­ces­tral home – in Se­lan­gor has seen rapid mod­erni­sa­tion, the fes­ti­val is still widely ob­served.

To­day, Hari Moyang has taken on an itin­er­ary-wor­thy ad­di­tion for visi­tors to Se­lan­gor. In fact, the peo­ple of Mah Meri have even invited visi­tors to join in on the cel­e­bra­tions.

The Mah Meri Cul­tural Vil­lage (MMCV) will be host­ing the fes­tiv­i­ties on March 17 this year.

As an­i­mists, the Mah Meri sub­scribes to the no­tion that there ex­ists a world of spir­its. And that faith forms the ba­sis of Hari Moyang, where rev­er­ence is paid to var­i­ous moyang or an­ces­tral spir­its.

It is be­lieved that the door to this other spir­i­tual world opens on Hari Moyang. On this day, be­liev­ers may seek pro­tec­tion and for­give­ness, ex­change in­for­ma­tion, ask for bet­ter for­tunes and spe­cial wishes to the in­hab­i­tants of the other world.

The MMVC lists down five vil­lages around Carey Is­land that cel­e­brate Hari Moyang.

Cel­e­bra­tions often com­mence with a rit­ual at sun­rise when a small group of vil­lagers gather at the jetty. They will then take boats out to the river mouth to pay re­spect to the spir­its in the area. There they will throw rice berteh (rice pop­corn) into the wa­ter.

Mean­while, vil­lages on the river bank will of­fer prayers at the spirit houses along the river.

Af­ter the rit­ual, the vil­lagers will pa­rade to the house of the spirit bear­ing of­fer­ings and food. Newly ac­quired be­long­ings will be given a spe­cial bless­ing which they be­lieve will help free them of any mis­for­tunes.

Bless­ings are often given by the vil­lage head­man or Tok Batin. Food of­fer­ings will then be placed on a spe­cial ta­ble to be shared with all the visi­tors.

Dur­ing the day, tra­di­tional songs and dances will be per­formed, as well as a spe­cial show fea­tur­ing Mask Dancers. Mean­while, visi­tors are en­cour­aged to make the Bunga Moyang as of­fer­ing to the spir­its on a gi­ant sym­bolic Mah Meri cone.

Those in­ter­ested to know more may visit www.mmcv.org.my. On­line travel plat­form LokaLo­cal also pro­vides tour op­tions.

— The Star

A Mah Meri of­fer­ing prayers to her an­ces­tors on Hari Moyang.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.