A Mah Meri tribal family perform prayers in a village in Malaysia, 140 km from the capitol, on the eve of the Ari Muyang festival. Ari Muyang is a major annual celebration by the tribe to thank the ancestral spirits for their protection and seek blessings for their household. Pulau Carey, Malaysia. 16/03/2010.
A Mah Meri family perform prayers on the eve of the Ari Muyang festibal at Sungai Bumbun village in Pulau Carey, 140 km from Kuala Lumpur, March 15, 2010. Ari Muyang is a major annual celebration by the tribe to thanks the ancestral spirits for their protection and seek blessing for their household. Malaysia's Mah Meri, a subgroup of Senois, live along the coast of south Selangor.
Ari Muyang is celebrated in 3 days. All family members get together for the celebrations. The communibty will gather at the Spirit Hut, or Rumah Muyang, commemorated for Muyang Gadeng, a female spirit guardian. Offerings are sent to her and other spirits in the vicinity. The Mah Meri tribe community will gather at the hut and perform special prayers and blessings. Rice powder-based solutions mixed with flowers and leaves are used to mark the foreheads and forearms during the prayers.
A special dance called Mayin Jo-oh, is performed to invite the ancestral spirits to join the festivity. In this dance, the male performers wear wooden masks and perform with movements and gestures to relate everyday events such as fishing and celebrations, while accompanied by female dances, a ritual song and the music from bamboo, viola, drum, and brass gong.
Malaysia's aboriginal people or Orang Asli are divided into 18 sub-ethnic group according to their different languages and customs. The Senois in the central peninsular region, the Negritos normally found in the northern region of the peninsula, and the Proto-Malay in the southern region.