Kelabu Papau (pictured above), whose earthly manefestation is Diard’s Trogon – Harpactes Diardi, is the son of Jimbun Bulan who looks after the path of the Sambar deer, Kachendai Bunga Ringkai, who settles at the borderland near the offerings (Jimbun Bulan ngemata ka enturan jalai gambang, Kechendai Bunga Ringkai, Berindik di punggai Jaa Pemangkang). He is married to the sixth daughter of Sengalang Burong, Endu Moa Puchong Pengabas Pinggai Besai Nadai Meretas.
He is the people of Empelai Tinggi Bandir, The people of Nyelutong tree, situated opposite the Kayu Ukir tree (Orang Empelai Tinggi Bandir, Orang di nyelutong ke dibandong kayu ukir).
Praise name (Ensumbar or Julok):
Fiery ash, which sets fire to the ridge of a house (Lachau Buntu Papau Nyenabong, bejulok Sintau Kemarau Hari, Rendang-rendang mandang ka dagang nengeri china. Kedua bali nama iya Apu Mau Nulang Perabong)
Luop charm (tied to a boat to render it invisible) to cover the boat’s bow; Sebangki api (charm that gives instant strength) for cutting the edge of a shield. (Ngembuan luop ambi ka tutop kemudi bangkong, sebangki api ka pengetis kaki terabai rimbong)
Interpretation Of Kelabu Papau as Omen Bird:
1. If you bring your cockerel to fight in the cockfighting ring, and hear the voice of Kelabu on the right hand side of the road as you approach the menalan, it is a good omen. It indicates that the other cock will automatically become spiritually blind and not be able to kick your cock properly, which will cause it to lose the fight. If you hear the voice of the same omen bird on the left hand side of the road near the menalan, it is also a good omen, but it is weaker than one heard to the right. If you hear the voice of this bird when you are midway to the menalan, either from the right or left side of the road, is not a good omen. It is good only if you hear it either when you leave your house or at the end of your walk to the cock-fighting pit.
2. If you hear the voice of Kelabu on the way to your farm, or the Kelabu follows you or flies directly across your path, either ngeraup or mim-pin, and if you have an old person living in your family, it is a bad omen. It foretells that the old person, who is the oldest in your bilek, will die soon after you hear or see this omen.
3. If you are looking for a piece of wood in the jungle from which to make a knife handle or a shaft for a spear which you will use in hunting, and you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is not a good omen, but indicates that if you use the weapons while hunting, you will not be able to see the animal properly and so not be able to kill it.
4. If you hear the voice of Kelabu a day after you have finished your seven days of initial clearing (manggol), it is a good omen. It spiritually blinds the eyes of all the animals and pests so that they cannot see your farm throughout the year.2 But after harvest you must be quick to transport all your property back to your longhouse, as many things may endanger it on your farm at the close of the farming year.
5. If you visit a sick person and you hear the voice of Kelabu near his or her house, it is a good omen, which predicts that the patient will soon recover from his or her illness. But if you hear its voice while you are still very far away from the patient’s house, it is not a good omen, but indicates that the sick person will remain long in bed.
6. If you move away from the longhouse and stay elsewhere due to an epidemic of illness and you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is an excellent omen. It indicates that the eyes of the spirit of the disease will be blinded and not see you, so that you will be safe*
7. If as you and your wife pay a first visit (Nyundang Pinang) to the latter’s house after marriage, you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is not a good omen. If your health remains good after hearing this omen, then you and your future descendants will forever be dominated by people of other families.
8. If you hear the voice of Kelabu as you come near your wife’s house on your first visit there after marriage, it is a bad omen, which indicates that your wedlock will not last long due to the death of either one of you. In order to neutralize this omen the husband must divorce his wife temporarily (belega) for one month, after this they may split the areca nut in a small marriage ceremony for their re-union.
9. If you are on a hunting trip, and you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is a useless omen, burong rabun,3 which indicates that you may not see the game clearly that day and in due course you will return home empty handed.
10. If on the day you finish felling the trees on your farm,, you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is a very good omen which indicates that no eyes of animals, evil spirits or pests may see the things you plant in your farm that year.
11. When you tie the ears of your padi in a ceremony (Nanchang padi) before you start reaping and you hear the voice of Kelabu, is not a good omen, but indicates that your fame will be very low. Your relatives and friends will no longer be fond of you.
12. If as you bring your inheritance from your parents’ house to your own house, you hear the voice of Kelabu, it is a bad omen and predicts that this inheritance will not increase.
13. If you hear the voice of Kelabu while midway to your wife’s house on your first visit there after marriage, it is a bad omen which indicates that some misfortune will disgrace you sometime during this traditional visit.
14. If you hear the voice of Kelabu while you are hunting, it is an unsatisfactory omen which blinds your dogs from seeing game clearly. In due course you will find it better to stop your hunting for a day and return home.
15. If you are returning from the jungle in order to sell your products to a trader and you hear the voice of Kelabu on the way, it is an auspicious omen and tells you that the eyes of the demons and malevolent spirits will not see you and, in due course, you will return in good health.
16. If you hear the voice of Kelabu when you are about to attack an enemy camp, it indicates that you will not be able to kill your foe due to supernatural blindness of your eyes, even though the raid that you are participating in is successful.
By Gregory Nyanggau Mawar
Uchu Sengalang Burong