You are here2013 Flora's Naming Ceremony in Borneo

2013 Flora's Naming Ceremony in Borneo


01 Looking over Kuching River

Image: 

Arrival in Kuching and The Hilton Hotel.

02 Chief Annie decides on names

Image: 

Annie looks at names from the longhouse ancestry that might be suitable for Flora.

03 Waiting to start

Image: 

Flora insists on wearing the dress made by Doris for Ophelia at her naming ceremony, 7 years earlier, and we wait for the ceremony to start.

04 Mahmoud starts off the ceremony with Arak

Image: 

Distilled rice, Arak, was offered by Gundol's son Mahmoud to kick off the celebrations.

05 The naming

Image: 

The Tuai Rumah holds the cockerel whilst names are written on small pieces of paper and placed in bowls of rice. These are then offered to the cockerel until it pecks at one bowl. That bowl is emptied and the name presented to the longhouse.

06 Antan

Image: 

Flora writes out the name for all the longhouse and guests to see... Antan, meaning long life.

07 The Cockerel's blessing

Image: 

After the name was chosen and displayed, Flora Antan was blessed with the cockerel.

08 Led down the steps of the longhouse

Image: 

A pig was slaughtered, it's head taken off by machete, and its blood allowed to run over the lower step. I, carrying Flora Antan had then to walk the blood onto the longhouse steps and floor for Flora Antan to become a member of the family.

09 Taken to the river

Image: 

Flora was led to the river barefoot to be blessed by the river. In a similar ceremony to Ophelia's, guns were fired to scare off evil spirits and Flora was immersed in the water, before being allowed to play in the water.