Tuesday Tales #20 : Bading

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Origin : Kiput Community, Kuala Tutoh, Baram, Sarawak 
As told by:  Norati Mahadi Majan & Karl Wing Batok
Translated by: Hari Ahmad
Edited by: Adrian Jo Milang & Juvita Tatan Wan
Sketch by: Adrian Jo Milang 

(This is Tuesday Tales, where we highlight folklores and personal stories from indigenous peoples from all across Borneo. These are stories shared with us. We strive to edit it to the best of our capabilities for your enjoyment. We welcome your feedback at hello@thetuyang.com)

Back then there were three Kiput clan leaders namely Usai, Bading and Melikang, and this is the story of Bading.

One day, Bading’s child passed away. They started to build a grave hut for the child’s final resting place. As they were putting up the burial pole for the grave hut, the pole would not stand erected.

So they started to do ritual offerings. At first they used chicken’s blood, but they saw no change. Then they used pig’s blood but to no success as well. Finally, they decided to use human blood. They went around the village to look for a worthy sacrifice. They then found and captured a child.

The grandmother of this child was not aware that her grandchild had been sacrificed. She had been looking for her all day until another elderly woman told her, “There is no use looking for your grandchild. Bading used her as human sacrifice.”

Upon hearing this heart wrenching news, she stood in dismay and sadness.

Bading, is well known for his blatantly cruel behaviour in treating the people of the community. The people lived in fear under his rule, and that no one could do anything about it.

One other time, there was a celebration in the village. This grandmother went net-fishing. She did not catch any fish. Instead, she caught a frog. When she saw the frog, she got an idea for revenge. She dressed the frog comically and elaborately with necklaces and human clothing and put it in a vase and sealed it. 

She made her way to the celebration where everyone had gathered and said, “I have nothing much to offer but this”, as she handed out the vase and opened the seal.

The frog jumped out and everyone present started to laugh their hearts out upon seeing the funny looking frog. 

As they were amused by the frog, rain poured down, accompanied by thunder and lightning. 

At first, it rained bamboo. Bading tried to chop the bamboo that rained down with all his might  and he succeeded. 

Shortly after, a hail storm started to brew. This rock-like rain turnt the village into a state of chaos. Most of the people there started to turn into stone. 

This all happened because it is tabooed among the Dayak communities to make fun or laugh at animals, or in other words, mali or buak.

Whilst all this happened, the grandmother had escaped by turning a boat upside down and hid under it as she drifted to a village downriver. She placed a white chicken on the boat in exchange for herself, to avoid turning into stone. 

Finally, she reached another Kiput village downriver and lived there. 

That is why there are two different villages – one upriver and the other downriver. 

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