Embuas (pictured above) whose earthly manefestation is Banded Kingfisher – Lacedo Pulchella, is the son of Raja Taka. He is married to Endu Kechapang Dulang Mas, Iyak Ketupang Bunga Libas, the fifth daughter of Sengalang Burong. He is known for his weeping call sound, which is very important, when it is heard near the enemy territory. It indicates the weeping cry of the enemies in defeat.
He came from a country, which is hollow, like the cover of a basong basket (di tanah lengkap, baka saap moa basong). Embuas is also nicknamed wave of feathered headress (Tipas Sibui Jabong) or Embuau (the weeping sound).
Praise name (Ensumbar or Julok):
A swift boat which passed a troop on the march (Bangkong Deras ke bejalai kebas-kebas ngelimpas moa bala)
Owns a randau malam creeper to tie up a house support and a group of meregang tree used for timber to construct a house ridge (ngembuan randau malam ambi ka tanggam tanchang sukong enggau madang kayu meregang tetak luntang lumpong ka parabong)
Interpretation Of Embuas as Omen Bird:
1. If while you dress yourself in your house to join a cockfighting game, you hear the voice of Embuas, it is a good omen which indicates that your cock will win its fight. But if when you have already reached the bathing place of your longhouse on the way to the cockfighting pit, its interpretation will be the opposite.
2. If you notice an Embuas bird flying towards you from the downhill while you are dibbling padi in your farm, it indicates that it comes to seek an order from the deity of the Earth, Raja Simpulang Gana. If it flies from the hilltop downwards, it comes to ask for an order from his father-in-law, Sengalang Burong, the interpretation of these omens is as follows:
a. a few generations of your descendants will become very successful in their trading ventures;
b. if you respect it with offerings in a mudas rite, you must kill a very fat pig, as these deities will not eat the thin meat of a piglet; and
c. if the omen is connected with Sengalang Burong you have to raise coloured flags on seven tall poles near the offerings.
3. If an Embuas bird flies towards you during the clearing season (maia nebas), it is an excellent omen as it will raise up your fortune causing your family to be known by many people in the land round about.
4. Embuas is nicknamed the *’mourning bird” (burong sinu). If it flies into your house and perches on you, it is not a good omen. It foretells that you will be distressed by the deaths of a number of very close relatives. If it alights on the perch of your fowls (gelanggang manok), it is a good omen which foretells that your family will prosper.
5. If you find an Embuas bird has nested outside the wall of your house, it is called burong tau enda, that is a mixed blessing, as described later. It indicates that at first you will accumulate considerate property, but later the child who should inherit it will die.
6. If you visit a sick person who is older than you, and you hear the voice of Embuas after you have seen the roof of his house, it indicates that the sick person will be instantly cured after your visit.
7. If as you return from visiting your parent’s house or your own child’s house, you hear the voice of Embuas as you leave, it is a very bad omen which indicates that it will be the last time you visit that house. To neutralize it you should return and stay there for another night. If you hear it while you are already half way to your own house or more, it is an excellent omen called the “omen of longevity”, burong gayu.
8. If you are going on a hunting trip, and you hear the voice of Embuas from the right side of your path, it is a good omen which indicates that you will kill a large wild-boar that day. Its tusks may become a charm (pengaroh) for farming or for war.
9. If when you carry property from your parents’ house, you hear the voice of Embuas, while you are still near the formers’ house, it is called burong sinu, “mourning omen”, and foretells that you will live a short life. If you hear it half way from the house to your own, it is an excellent omen known as the “omen of longevity”. If you hear it very close to your own house, it is more excellent yet, as it indicates that the property you bring will be safe and secure in the hands of your descendants.
10. If you hear the voices of two Embuas birds on opposite sides of the road, one on one side the other on the other side, near your house, it is an omen called burong surong api, “omen of handing fire to one another.” If you hear this omen when setting out to hunt, it indicates that you will kill a number of small animals. This same omen is also called burong ngiring anak, “bird that leads its chicks”, and cannot be used as a farming omen.
11. If you are hunting and have found traces of an animals’ hoof prints when you hear the voice of Embuas, it is a good omen, which indicates that you will soon kill the game. The calls of Ketupong and Kelabu Papau Nyanabong are not favourable for hunting and fishing. The voice of Ketupong indicates that you will be empty handed and the voice of Kelabu Papau Nyanabong indicates the blindness of you and your dogs in failing to see the game or fish you are looking for.
12. If you hear the voice of Embuas from the left side of the path when you reach the gathering of warriors during a war expedition, it is not a good omen. It indicates that you will be very tired during the battle, and will not be able to kill your foe.
13. If when you visit a man who has long been critically ill and he is very much older than you, and when you are still near your house, you hear the voice of Embuas on the left side of your road, and as you walk half way on you hear the voice of Beragai on the right side of your road and later when you see the roof of the house of the sick man, you hear the voice of Ketupong, the effects of these omens are as follows:
– Right hand voice of Embuas means mourning over the death of the sick person;
– Right hand voice of Beragai means happy bird, that is the joy of Sebayan that receives the soul of the dying person; and
– Right hand voice of Ketupong means speedy recovery.
14. If you visit a sick person who is much older than you, and you hear the voice of Embuas midway on your journey or after you have seen the roof of his or her house, it is a good omen which indicates longevity for the sick person you are visiting.
15. If you are returning from collecting wild rubber in a far away country, and you hear the voice of Embuas when you are about to leave your landing place, it is not a good omen, and is known as burong sinu, the “mourning omen”. It indicates that you or one of your friends in the party will not see that place again due to death.
By Gregory Nyanggau Mawar
Uchu Sengalang Burong