Hello everyone, today I would like to share our tradition mompisok the KadazanDusun death ritual. Before you read more, I would like to remind that this story is for sharing purpose only and I don't have any intention to force anyone to believe it.
The original idea for this writing comes from my sister Just, so all the credit are hers :)
According to the KadazanDusun beliefs in a long time ago before they had follow or embrace any religion, they are practicing mompisok in a death ritual.
After burying the dead body, 6 days later which is call malam ketujuh (the seventh night) mompisok will be made by the family member. Mompisok means to turn off the light where someone will call and welcoming the dead spirit on that night.
My sister Just interview with an old lady…
Mompisok can remind people about death. Calling the dead spirit and family members will ask the spirit to take all his/her belongings during his/her was still alive. The family members also will ask the dead spirit not to disturb the family, but leave and be good where ever the dead spirit go.
The old lady asks my sister Just, “do you believe that the spirit will coming back?” Some had tell me, if you see them then you would believe it but then it is up to you whether you want to believe it or not. The old lady said, there are some people who can see or sense their presence. According to these peoples, their look does not change. Only the dead one will not lift their faces.
I myself had experience a couple of times this mompisok ceremony, once during the death of my great-grandmother (father’s side). On the seventh night, an adequate of ashes placed near the deceased’s belongings. After that, all the lights switched off and in the darkness someone will begin the ceremony by calling the spirit.
I must admit, it was very creepy and the silent also unbearable. No one dared to make a sound let alone a movement. In my mind, if I make even a slight movement the spirit will spot me, instantly jump at me and bring me to the unknown world. Haha…don’t blame me, I was only a child at that time.
When the lights went on, everyone especially the grown up quickly checked the ashes that been placed near the deceased’s belongings. Actually they want to see if the spirit had leaved evidence there. Something likes footprints, fingerprints or whatsoever. I still remember I had peeked on that ashes and yes I saw something on it. But please forgive me, I may be a child at that time still the moment is personal to me so I won’t share it here.
Mompisok usually will end with many thanks to those who had come that night. For your information, the KadazanDusun is still practice this kind of ceremony but it is more to Adat (traditions). Nothing more, nothing less I guess, since nowadays most of us already embrace a religion. In our area, we still practice the ceremony. But instead of switching the lights off on the seventh day, we replace it by a mass prayer.
So, that is a story I want to share with you about death rituals according to the KadazanDusun tradition. The ritual could be a little bit different by area including the name, here we call it moginturu but its purpose remains the same. I believe some of you especially the Sabahan familiar to this ritual. Perhaps, you can share your experience?
(pictures are from Google)