Tepung Tawar and Mendam Ceremony Start the Use of the New Road, Poros Keraitan

The traditional ritual of tepung tawar and mendam, marks the beginning of the use of the new Poros Keraitan road to Segading Lama, Monday (11/8/2021). Under the pouring rain, the ritual was successful and full of wisdom.

The ritual was led by Gagai, the Traditional Head of Keraitan Village, attended by the District Head of Bengalon Suharman, Manager of Bengalon Community Relations and Development (BCRD) Syahruldin, Head of Community Group (RT) Segading Lama, Ramlitun, Young Dayak Leader Lukas, Himuq and various other stakeholders.

The procession begins with mendam, in the form of burying the head of a cow which is a sacrificial animal in a thanksgiving event for the new Poros Keraitan road. After burying, the event continued with the ritual of tepung tawar. In this ritual, all attendees are anointed with plain flour, which is a mixture of ingredients in the form of rice flour, turmeric water and fragrance ingredients.

The traditional head of Keraitan village, Gagai, said that the ritual of tepung tawar and mendam is an ancestral tradition that is still preserved today. This ritual aims to build harmony between nature and humans. If the relationship between nature and humans is balanced, mutual safety and prosperity will be created.

After the ritual of tepung tawar and mendam, abstinence lasts for three days. In this period of abstinence, no one may traverse this new road. Barrier has been installed in this road to prevent it from being used for crossing. “In this time of abstinence, the path is impassable. After three days, the barricades will be opened and the roads can be used,” said Gagai.

BCRD Manager Syahruldin said that KPC respects local traditions in its operations. Because according to Syahrul, respect for tradition is one of the company’s basic values. “One of the values ​​that KPC upholds is respect for local traditions. That’s why we support this ritual of mendam and tepung tawar,” said Syahrul.

Young Dayak leader, Lukas Himuq, expressed his appreciation to KPC for continuing to build synergies between indigenous peoples in their operations. “We are grateful to be able to see firsthand the synergy between KPC and the indigenous people in Keraitan Village area. We appreciate that KPC respects our customs, the Dayak people,” said Lukas.

After the mendam and tepung tawar ritual which took place at the end of the new Poros Keraitan road, a thanksgiving event was held in the form of a shared meal. The main menu for this joint meal is none other than beef, which is the sacrificed animal in the ritual of mendam. This celebration took place in a friendly atmosphere, at the house of the Traditional Head of Keraitan Gagai, in Kampung Segading Lama. (*)