Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Worldly Bird Of Paradise (Cenderawasih)

The story begins with an old occult book called “Tajul Muluk”. In that is described about a bird called “Burung Cenderawasih” or “bird of paradise”. The bird was said to have born in paradise. Many of the eldest said that a Burung Cenderawasih came from paradise and always found sitting beside the pious.


There was also narration in other Malay old books that when a Burung Cenderawasih came down to earth, its life will end. However, what is strange and interesting about this bird is its body will not degrade. It is because it was said that the bird only drinks water from the paradise and it has a very strong out of the world fragrance. People believed that a Burung Cenderawasih died because of many reasons. They sometimes died while flying, while at rest or while sleeping.


Burung Cenderawasih as known in SEA, it is known as Phoenix for the Chinese. In Europe, the bird is popularly known as 'Bird of Paradise'. This bird can actually be found on the island of Paupa New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of Northern Australia. There is no evidence that this bird comes from paradise. Many of the bird taxidermies are still kept throughout generations.


In the book of Tajul Muluk, burung cenderawasih was said to have various benefits:


·         Most of the body parts are used in traditional medicine.

·         Many people use the bird because they believe it can bring good luck for their own use or for business.

·         Burung Cenderawasih is used as 'pelaris' (for good fortune).

·         The tail of the Burung Cenderawasih brought luck to their life.

·         According to the book: “If a feather of a bird of paradise is brought wherever you go, then people will be attracted to you.”

·         The book further mentions that: “… Your face will look shiny, respected by people, foe become friends and ease of sustenance. Whoever is jealous about you will instead love you … “

·         Specifically for the businessmen and politicians: “Whoever keeps a bird of paradise in his or her house, then this person is so lucky as if keeping a mountain of gold, diamonds and pearls. His or her authority will increase, together with his wealth and social status.


In reality, Burung Cenderawasih is still a worldly bird. It is such magical belief that has caused this type of bird hunted to its extinction. 

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