SHS Web Conf.
Volume 45, 20187th International Conference on Local Knowledge (ICLK 2017)
|Number of page(s)
|12 June 2018
NGALAI RITUAL : A COMMUNAL HEALING PERFORMANCE
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI),
2 Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM),
3 Akademik seni budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA),
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
This study delves into the ngalai ritual performance practiced by Bajau Samah community in Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia which serves as a healing method. The study was done using a qualitative approach through the ethnographic strategy application concentrating on the relationship between behaviour and culture. In terms of performance, ngalai is a combination of the elements of dance, singing, music and acting. Traditionally, the ngalai ritual is performed for healing purposes that is based on the animistic religious beliefs which is derived from believe in the existence of spirits (metaphysical entity). Individual who is able to see spirits is said to be capable and have the privilege of curing a disease caused by tulah (plague) due to the interference of spirits. “The community of ngalai practitioners believe that the physical world is influenced by the metaphysical world, especially where it concerned the existence of other worldly beings, the myths and spirits associated with their ancestors. They also believe that the places they inhabit are also shared with the presence of these other worldly, spiritual beings. Based on these beliefs, offerings are prepared and rituals are done in the ngalai performance with the main aim of respecting and asking permission from these spiritual beings to help with the healing process.” The healing aspect in ngalai is categorized as communal healing as well as “faith healing”, referring to “the ritual practice that relates to religious beliefs and healing” that happen following the method adopted involving patients and the public. Thus, this study seeks to present a justification of ngalai ritual performance that serves as a medium of healing and is still significant in the present context.
Key words: ngalai / ritual / Bajau Samah / tulah / communal healing / faith healing
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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