Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jerunai : Burial Pole and Hanging Coffin?

Creepy yet fascinating.

Hanging coffin, Nulang burial or secondary burial system.

A 2 minutes walking distance from Lamin Dana is where a tall totem pole was erected few hundred years ago. This totem pole is known as Jerunai; a burial pole, and I was told that Jerunai is reserved mainly for Melanau aristocrats (bangsawan) here in Mukah, Sarawak. It is made from Borneo ironwood tree or pokok Belian carved with animal and plant motifs symbolizing their status level. The aristocrat body would be left in a hanging coffin for a year before transferring the remains in a Jerunai. Every aristocrat would have 2 human sacrifices which is a male and a female slave age 12-13 years old, where the male slave will be at the bottom (the aristocrat remains in between) and the female tied at the top, left starving to death.

Have you heard of a royal Jerunai that requiried human sacrifices and it bears the scar of the rescue effort by their love ones? More stories from Sarawak Tourism Board.

This is an ancient practice some 175 years ago before the light of Islam in Sarawak.

Each Jerunai stands at the height of 10 to 15 meters and requires 15 to 30 locals and must be of Melanau descendant or bloodline. A blessing ceremony will be held during the erection of a Jerunai.

Hanging coffin.


Diana Rose has taken the initiative to beautify Kampung Sri Tellian's Jerunai for the convenience of her guest and tourist to Mukah. Her intention in making Melanau known to the nation and internationally has shown result. 

Melanau : Cultural and heritage wonders. 

Related entries
Lamin Dana - Love at the first sight in Sarawak

DiGi's Amazing Malaysian 2005 has selected Diana Rose as one of their award recipients. Her mission to conserve and promote Malaysia's natural and cultural heritage has honoured her as "The Knowledge Keeper of Sarawak". Amazing Malaysians is part of DiGi's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme.

A #KCC1M - #Sarawak Media Fam Trip in collaboration with #GayaTravel.


Jeff Chuah said...

wow, interesting!

Unknown said...

Apa yg hangingnye? tak nampak semak je i tgk dlm celah2 rumput tu heheheh

Khai said...

Haha. terfikir benda yang sama macam chawana. tp bila fkir balik dia hanging coffin, mcm seram jeeee.. haha

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