Monday, July 9, 2012
Plain Flour Ritual: Tepung Tawar
“Tepuk Tepung Tawar” or “Patting Plain Flour” is a tradition in the Malay states, especially in the Riau Islands since the time of the kings of the past till the present.
The tepung tawar ritual is actually adopted from the Hindu ritual that has already embraced in Indonesia and Malaysia. When the merchants from Gujarat and Hadralmaut brought Islam into the region around the 7th century BC, they were dealing with animism (belief in the spirit of life) and dynamism (the belief in magical power objects) which sanctioned the Hindu religion. This belief was very strong in every level of society at that time.
This ritual is involved in various important events in the community, such as birth, circumcision, marriage, blessing front door, opening new land, soul retrival, and so forth.
In marriage, for example, tepuk tepung tawar ritual signifies blessing gifts and prayers for the welfare of the bride and groom, as well as repellent reinforcements and interference.
The old folks say:
What is called as padding plain flour;
Bid for all the venomous;
Reject any disaster;
Immure any reinforcements;
Dismissed any danger.
In traditional Malay ceremony, plain flour ritual means to remove or discard any disease. Other sources mention the symbolism of rice paste is done as a sense of joy poured out of gratitude and as a successful, dreams, events or intentions that will or that was implemented, whether the object moves (human) and inanimate objects (not moving).
As for equipment or completeness of fresh powder that is used by the Malay community largely made up of three main parts, namely:
1. Herb Sower
a. Platform located on a plate of white rice, a plate of yellow rice, a plate and a plate of roasted rice flour, as the significances as follows:
i. White rice = fertility and away from the dirty washing.
ii. Yellow rice = glory, passion and glory.
iii. Roasted rice = development, symbolize things which grow from the earth and from heaven.
iv. Flower Medley = Represents how sweet it smells of friendship, brotherhood sweet, and sweet fellowship.
v. Rice flour = probity.
b. The meaning the whole of the above materials is happiness.
2. Herb Container
a. A white bowl (used to be coconut shell) filled with ordinary water, and a handful of white rice, and a lime that has been sliced. Place / platform is called “Ampar” means earth. Inside the bowl cnsists of seven kinds of leaves, namely:
i. Kalinjuhang / jenjuang leave (red length leafy vegetables). Symbolize pushing and turning away from ghosts, demons and the demons that interfere with the community and generating high morale.
ii. The branches of pepulut / setawar tree (thick leaved and branching plants). This represents as a remedy (medicine) any poisonous, can the sea, can the earth and throw all that is evil. The leave also means to restore a damaged or sick.
iii. Gandarusa leave (oval-shaped thin-leaved plants). The leave mean, fighting to stop a disease that will come in to a region. The leaves are also an antidote to enemies from outside the leaf, an antidote from within, an antidote to witchcraft and curse, which brought an antidote to all the evil and the devil.
iv. Leaves of ribu-ribu or “thousands upon thousands” (small leafy plants cascading and crisscrossed). Its functions as a binder between the leaves, which means to bind all future diseases and enforcement of unity and togetherness and inspire.
v. Leaves of Keduduk/Senduduk or “the position / shrubs”. It means all diseases which come under the domination and sit or disabled.
vi. Sedingin leaves, this means leaves will give you chills, calmness and health.
vii. The embau tree with roots, reminds us that the strength and soundness.
b. All of the seven kinds of plants represent an exclamation or silent prayer to the person who is being “tepung tawar”.
c. Seventh leaves are tied with string so the roots or a small file as container.
d. As for the meaning of the above materials are as follows:
i. White bowl filled with white water means purity. At times some use rose water, which is made of various foliage and aromatic such as pandanus, citronella, lime are boiled to become the pecung water.
ii. Rice or rice powder. Made from rice flour which is blended with natural fragrances solution from plants that have a meaning as air, heart calming, and fertility.
iii. Lemon lime is sliced thin, with a meaning as a giver of strength and patience while cleaning. Overall mean a Safety and Happiness.
iv. The above ingredients are stirred into a container and sprinkled with the sprinkler made of the seven leaves.
3. Censer (smudging)
a. Smudging with incense or incense is burned can be interpreted in worship or prayer to the Almighty so that answers are answered. The smudging is very rarely done in the ritual today.