Abdul Karim (centre) with Hii (fifth right), Tazudin (third left), Pok Mo (fourth left), and other participants of the ritual ceremony with the kelidieng. Photos; Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: A specific ritual ceremony has been held to move the kelidieng (burial pole) of Kampung Sungai Ud, Dalat from its storage location in Sekama to the new Borneo Cultures Museum.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah officiated at the ceremony on Saturday (Sept 26), whereby Penghulu Yasa Tanbik led a team from Dalat to conduct the required rituals.

Pok Mo, who is the direct descendant owner of the kelidieng and a shaman himself, performed the ritual ceremony assisted by his son Rudy Pok together with the begadeng (traditional music) troupe.

The ritual ceremony began at the Sekama store, with the Melanau burial pole wrapped in a white cloth before being loaded onto a lorry to be transported to the new Sarawak Museum Complex, where the rituals were completed.

When speaking to reporters at the compound of the new Sarawak Museum Complex, Abdul Karim said that specific rituals had to be carried out when transporting the burial pole in order to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

He said that the burial pole had been brought from Kampung Sungai Ud, Dalat to Kuching in 1962.

“The kelidieng was made from a Belian tree and it is estimated to be made in the 19th century. It is definitely more than 200 years old,” he said.

“The kelidieng will be placed in the Borneo Cultures Museum after it is washed and treated. Once in the museum, we will be able to see this kelidieng standing majestically,” he added.

The kelidieng

According to him, this Melanau burial pole was one of the ethnic treasures which will be brought into the new museum and more historical artefacts would be added as well, including a Punan burial pole to be transported from the old museum as well as an Iban war boat.

“These will be exhibited in our new museum and they will undergo ritual processes so that the transportation of these historical items will get blessings from the ethnicities from which these artefacts originated from — be they Melanau, Punan, or Iban,” said Abdul Karim.

Also present at the ceremony were Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Sarawak Museum Department acting director Tazudin Mohtar.