Beragai Chelegai Rarik Lampong (pictured left), nicknamed Samatai whose earthly manefestation is Scarlet Rumped Trogon – Harpactes Duvaucelii is also called Burong Gaga, the “happy bird” due to the laughing sound of his call. He serves as shaman healer (manang). The son of Sega Salempa Wi Selegai, Bujang Sababang Bunga Ringkai, he is married to second daughter of Sengalang Burong, Endu Langgu Ketunsong Ngembai, Dayang Kumang Bunga Entekai.
He came from hillock country surrounded by ubah trees, whose fruits weighed down its branches, in a forest full of palah reeds, whose stalk are red as the color of their stem (Munggu Gulu Kayu madang ubah ke bebuah lentor batang, di kerapa madang palah betating mirah nyerenang takang).
Praise name (Ensumbar or Julok):
A long sword that strikes the ribs (Beragai ke bejulok Perapang Pedang Panjai, Lempai ka di kerigai rusok rinda). Another name is Beraga the large plate for receiving lady’s head (Beragai bejulok pinggai besai penerima pala berambau dara).
Special possession: Possess danan cane for binding the circular frame, the kechupak tree for making the cross piece of the curled chandi pole (Ngembuan danan ambi ka mudan, gelong ka bengkong. Ngembuan kechupak ambi ka ilak chandi begelong).
Interpretation Of Beragai as Omen Bird:
1. If you bring a cock which has already won a fight into the cockfighting ring, and you hear the voice of Beragai from the right hand side of your path towards the ring, it is a bad omen which indicates that your cock will be wounded in its legs and loose the fight. If the cock has not won a fight before, it indicates your shouts for its coming victory.
2. If you are doing farming work before the firing of your farm, you are followed by Beragai flying along the road that you are walking, you should honour it with offerings in a mudas ceremony before the firing of your farm takes place. The effect of the voice of Beragai is good, but is only effective before firing.
3. If the voice of Beragai is the first omen you hear when you begin to open farms in a new country that you have just settled, it is a good omen, which predicts that you and your followers will be known to others as prosperous, well-off farmers and traders. Many people will come to buy your products. But, on the other hand, as long as you remain settled there none of the men of your community will become a great leader.
4. If a Beragai bird flies into your longhouse and perches above the centre of the ruai (gallery), it is a good omen which predicts that many visitors will come to purchase padi from the people of your house due to their success in farming.
5. If you visit a sick man and hear the voice of Beragai, it is a good omen which foretells that the life of the man you visit will be long and in many future occasions he will still be able to joke and laugh with you. It is also equally good if, on your way back from visiting a sick man, you hear the voice of Beragai, as it predicts that the man you visited will enjoy your company when you meet him next time.
6. If you hear the voice of Beragai near the house of your wife, during the first visit to her house after marriage, it is not a good omen. It predicts that your first child will die in infancy. This omen is called gugor mayang pinang. In order to neutralize it you must divorce your wife for a month, which is known as belega, but later you may marry her again. If you hear the voice of Beragai anywhere along the road during this visit it is also not good. It foretells that you may have a number of children but that the majority of them will die young.
7. If you are leading a number of fishermen to fish and you hear the voice of Beragai, it is not a good omen. It is known as burong puang raga and indicates that you will return empty handed. But if you hear the voice of Beragai when you are already fishing, it is an omen that predicts that you may catch fish abundantly.
8. If you hear the voice of Beragai the day you finish felling trees on your farm, it indicates that your farm will not burn properly when it is fired later on due to rain or lack of wind.
9. If you hear the voice of Beragai as you ceremonially tie the ears of your padi (nyumba) you begin to harvest, it is a good omen, which predicts that a lot of visitors will come to eat rice with you after the harvest, is over.
10. If you hear the voice of Beragai while you are carrying your inheritance from your parents’ house to your own, it predicts that you will have a large number of heirs to divide the property among that you are carrying.
11. If you hear the voice of Beragai when you land your boat on your way to hunt or when you go fishing, it is a good omen which predicts joy in obtaining a lot of whatever you are looking for that day.
12. If you hear the voice of Beragai on your way to sell rubber sheets to the trader, it is a good omen that foretells the joy of the latter who buys your product for a high price.
13. If you hear the voice of Beragai near the landing place of your wife’s house on your way to visit her family after marriage, it is a doubtful, or tau enda omen, “a mixed blessing”, which predicts that your children in the future will be very wealthy, but the majority of them will die in their prime.
14. If you hear the voice of Beragai far away from your house, while you are on a hunting expedition, it is not a good omen, but it predicts the joy of animals that escape from you.
15. After you have finished with the seven days of initial clearing (manggol) and you hear the voice of Beragai, which causes you to stay away from work, it is a good omen which indicates joy over a good harvest at the end of the year; but at the same time, your farm will be disturbed by monkeys and other animals who will devour plants in the farm other than padi.
16. If the Beragai bird flies directly across the front of your path from right to left (mimpin), while you are on your way to cut the shrubs and secondary growth on your farm, it is a good omen which foretells that the growth of your padi will be excellent that year. But at the same time a lot of animal will-come to disturb the other crops in your padi field.
17. If a successful hunter or fisherman hears the voice of Beragai on his way to hunt animals or to fish in the river, it is not a good omen, but predicts that he will return home empty handed. If an inexperienced young hunter or fisherman hears the voice of Beragai, it is a good omen which predicts that his basket will be heavily laden with catch.
18. If you go to work in a far away country and you hear the voice of Beragai, it predicts that you will not be healthy while working there, or may fail to gain any profit from your journey.
By Gregory Nyanggau Mawar
Uchu Sengalang Burong