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Skulls, ancestors and the meaning of kelelungan: an ethnolinguistic look into the history of a key religious term of the greater Luangan.

Introduction (1)

One of the most intriguing features of Greater Luangan (2) eschatology is the belief that the personality of a human being after death is perpetuated by what is variously called in the ethnographic literature two different "souls of the deceased," "spirits of the dead," or "ancestral spirits." A succinct summary of this model has recently been published by Sillander (2012:31):
   The closely interrelated Bentian and Benuaq of southeast Borneo ...
   recognize two oppositionally-defined spirits of the dead, liau and
   kelelungan, which come into being upon death when the life soul
   (juus) expires. The former, associated with the body and body
   bones, is principally malevolent and debilitating, while the
   latter, associated with the head and skull, is principally
   benevolent and helpful. [...] Relations with both liau and
   kelelungan extend beyond the performance of the multi-staged
   mortuary rituals, which serve to install them in their respective
   afterworlds on Mount Lumut in Central Kalimantan, and in the abode
   of Tenangkai in heaven. Both are frequently contacted in a variety
   of rituals, sometimes individually and by name, and sometimes as an
   anonymous collectivity, and they also appear in dreams and
   possession experiences, testifying to a remarkable salience of
   spirits of the dead in the spiritual landscape of the Bentian and
   Benuaq. But whereas separation is at all times stressed with liau,
   ... kelelungan is mostly contacted with requests for various

This eschatological configuration is peculiar in the context of Borneo and, in addition, seems to defy, at least in part, Robert Hertz's (1969 [1907]) theory of death, which he largely developed from Bornean material and which has been found valid by the majority of Borneo scholars ever since. According to Hertz (see also Metcalf 1982 for the Berawan, Sather 2012 for the Iban), a metaphorical link exists between the state of the body and the state of the spirit of the dead during the process of thanatomorphosis. As decomposition turns the (unclean) corpse into (clean) bones, so the fate of the deceased's soul is "expressed in a scheme of lineal progression from an initially ... miserable, malevolent spirit of the dead toward a gradually more purified and detached, benevolent ancestor spirit" (Sillander 2012:31). The Bentian and Benuaq case is, as Sillander (2004:181) noted, similar, but "does not fit this neat scheme very well":
   As among the Berawan, newly dead ancestors tend to be malevolent
   whereas long dead ones tend to be beneficent (and often deified).
   However, the state of the body is not directly instrumental with
   respect to the malevolency or goodness/pureness of Bentian
   ancestors which is determined much more (although far from
   guaranteed) by the arrangement of the obligatory secondary mortuary
   ritual (which may occur long before actual decomposition of the
   body, and which does only rarely involve exhumation) or other acts
   by the living demonstrating respect for the ancestors. Furthermore,
   the liau remain basically coarse and malevolent with the passing of
   time while the kelelungan may only occasionally turn malevolent.

To account for this rather aberrant concept of a twin existence of human post-mortals, Sillander (2012:66) proposed a symbolic interpretation framed around a basic human concern with the "ambiguousness of death." According to him, two aspects should be considered: "To some extent it probably reflects what Metcalf (1982:235,243) termed the 'inherent bilocality of the dead' ...; the more malevolent liau being associated with the body, its animation, and earth, and the more benevolent kelelungan with the head, the socalled higher human capacities, and heaven. However, more importantly it represents the two sided significance of death--simultaneously debilitating and (potentially) revitalizing--and two widely employed and studied strategies of responding to it: separation and regeneration." Somewhere else he emphasizes (2012:31): "The parallel existence of these spirits forms an unusual symbolic expression of the ambiguous attitudes of avoidance and reverence that Borneo people typically have toward the dead."

Indeed, the concept of two oppositionally-defined spirits of the dead as described by Sillander must be regarded as the default concept among the Greater Luangan, as it is the most frequently reported one, both by locals and their ethnographers. Besides, it can well be traced in the mythology of these societies (see Venz 2013a:253), though, considering the propensity of myths to accommodate adaptation, this need not necessarily be interpreted as a reflection of great antiquity for the belief in "twin" spirits. In fact, there exist numerous variations on this theme, probable evidence of a complex history. Differences can be found, for example, as to (a) how the "twins" relate to the dream ego of a living person, as to (b) how they relate to each other, as to (c) how each of them is to be characterized, as to (d) how they represent a post-mortal's personality and, finally, as to (e) how they relate to other numina of the local pantheon. (3) The most controversial of all of these issues, I think, is the characterization of the numina designated by the term kelelungan, which, therefore, presents the critical point for our understanding of Greater Luangan eschatology in general.

In what follows, I would like to give an updated discussion of data pertaining to this key religious issue of the Greater Luangan contained in my Ph.D. thesis (Venz 2013a, in German). The aim of this paper is to provide the reader with an overview of the diversity of ethnographic reports and to look at approaches for a philological analysis of the term kelelungan itself, as it is hoped it will shed more light on the issue. I will argue that the term is morphologically complex and that it contains a fossilized prefix kele- (PMP *kali-), which highlights the significance of the referents of the term kelelungan within local animism. Moreover, I will show that among the Benuaq, it essentially references "ancestor skulls" (probably in their capacity as altars). These findings will lead to questions of the historical role of both the decomposition of a deceased's body and the multi-stage mortuary ritual in achieving ancestral status. Overall, this paper provides new reflections as regards the significance of ancestors and their skulls among the Greater Luangan, which Mallinckrodt (1925) felt to be especially strongly preserved among his Lawangan, and to add to the corpus of ethnolinguistic data presented by Couderc and Sillander in Ancestors in Borneo Societies (2012).

Variations on the theme

As stated above, the question as to the ontological relation between the "dream ego" (Bnq juus) of a living person and the two spirits of the dead has found different answers among the locals and their ethnographers. The most prevalent alternatives may be summarized as follows:

(1) According to one view, the two spirits of the dead are unrelated to the dream ego. Upon death, the juus simply ceases to exist and does not contribute to a human's post-mortal existence (see also Venz 2002). It seems that Hopes et al. (1997:187) favored this view for the Benuaq, as they never linked the two spirits of the dead to juus. They distinguish them as follows: Liaaw is a "[sjpirit or emanation of the body or trunk of the dead person; generally considered 'ugly' or 'unclean'--bereft of the finer capacities of the person and foul like corrupted flesh." And they add (1997:15): "... the Liaaw are ... unclean because counterparts of the corpse, and are treated with distrust." In contrast, the kelelungan are "[s]pirits of the skulls or the heads" and, more specifically, "the 'clean' ones, credited with sentience and the finer feelings. Dwell in the high heavens with the Nayuq." Another author, who opted for this view, is Herrmans (2011:40) with respect to the Central Luangan: "Upon death the "soul" or "life-force" of a person (juus) ceases to exist while two different "souls" of the dead come into being: liau and kelelungan." Similar to Wcinstock (sec below), she (2011:233) defines liau as the "coarse body soul of dead human beings who arc escorted to Mount Lumut during gombok. Common source of disturbance and soul theft." The kelelungan are defined by her as the "refined head souls of dead people which are escorted to Tenangkai during gombok. Important spirit familiar and protecting spirit."

(2) A second view is that the juus becomes the kelelungan. This seems to be the view taken by Sillander for the Bentian. According to him, "the liau is the replacement of something else, more precisely, an ill-defined 'bodily vital principle,' associated with the shadow or breath of people" (Sillander 2012:98; also 2004:181). His main arguments for the association of the juus with the kelelungan are threefold, namely: (a) that the "kelelungan is often addressed as juus kelelungan"; (b) that the juus is returned to the body through the head; and (c) that the juus is, indeed, said to become a kelelungan, while the body is said to become a liau" (2012:98). I was given a similar explanation by Umaaq Tapikng, one of the eldest death priests in the Idaatn area. His statement runs as follows: "As regards the kelelungan, it is the juus of the deceased, i.e. during life a human being has juus in his body, but when he dies, his body decays (moraas) and his flesh and blood (isiq daya) become liau, his sinews (uyaat) become liau, head hair and body hair (buluq balo) become liau, but his juus becomes kelelungan." (4)

(3) A third alternative is that the juus becomes the liau. Massing, for instance, states that (1982:61): "The Benuaq distinguish between vital force (jus, semangat) and intellectual faculty, the latter located in the head. After death ... the intellect becomes kelelungan ... the semangat becomes liau." In another study he clarifies (1981:3): "It is Benuaq belief that at death the vital force, (merue or semangat) leaves a person's body and becomes a spirit of similar physiological constitution (liau) which, for example, requires food, drink and entertainment and can feel pain and emotions. On the other hand, a person's intellect believed to be located in the head, becomes kelelungan, a shapeless spell which leaves the body freely, can enter other human beings and can be reincarnated in newborn children. While the liau is believed to roam about the neighborhood of the grave and the house of the dead person's family, the kelelungan proceeds at once to a place in heaven called Tenangkai." Unfortunately, Massing does not mention the Benuaq terms of his "intellect" or "intellectual faculty." Another argument, often adduced by Benuaq in order to link the juus to the liau, is the existence of the following proverb: Bolupm erai juus, mate erai liau, literally "in life as one juus, in death as one liau" or "to be hand in glove," "to be bosom friends" or "to be one heart and one soul," often used with respect to close friends or couples (Venz 2003:91 and 2013a:261).

(4) A fourth alternative explains the "twins" as the result of what Weinstock (1983:79-80), with respect to the Luangan of Central Kalimantan, called a "bifurcation" of the soul. This is the default concept among the Greater Luangan. However, as Payne (2012:318) rightly warns, "[t]here is some disagreement in the literature as to how the living soul splits into two parts after death." Thus, Weinstock writes (1983:79-80): "When an individual dies, there is a transformation of the soul. Upon death, bifurcation of the soul occurs, ju 'us divides into kelalongan and liau. Kelalongan is the "refined" soul of the head/brain. It goes to live in Tenangkai (Senangkai), an abstract heaven located in the sky. Liau is the "coarse" soul of the body/shadow. It goes to live on Gunung Lumut (Moss Mountain)." A similar statement is given by the Benuaq writers Tullur & Hendrik (1990:16): "After the juus left the body, it is called liyau and kelelungan. [...], the liyau is perceived of as a vital spirit [BI roh tenaga] which originates in the lower body parts. In everyday life, mentioning of the liyau is taboo, since it tends to molest people. In contrast, the kelelungan is perceived of as a spirit of the mind [BI roh fikiran] or the rational capacities [BI ratio], which originates in the head. The kelelungan tends to benevolent behavior and can act as mediator between the living and the nayuq timang." (5) In the same vein, another team of Benuaq authors, Pamung & Suni M. (1994:24), explain: "After the death of a human being, his soul splits into two parts, namely: the spirit of the body, called livaw [BI roh badan], and the spirit of the skull [BI roh tengkorak], also called kelalungan. However, this does not mean that the two spirits exist as halves but rather that each has to be regarded as a whole." (6) Gonner (2001:57-58), focusing on the Benuaq-Ohookng, states: "According to Benuaq belief, at the death of an individual his juus changes into two eternal spirits: Liau (Liaaw), which is associated with the body (corpse), and Kelelungan, which is generally associated with the intellect (skull)." (7) This is also the view taken by Payne (2012:318) for the Benuaq-Idaatn: "the living soul bifurcates into ... two entities, the liau representing the more carnal aspect of human nature and the kelelungan representing the moral and intellectual side." Further below on the same page, Payne (2012:318) also characterizes the liau as "spirits of the body and passions."

(5) In addition to the last version, Weinstock (1987:79-80) identified a fifth alternative, which, according to him, forms the two major eschatological systems among the Luangan of Central Kalimantan. He writes: "An alternate but less widespread version of the journey of the soul after death maintains unity of the soul. Upon death the soul does not bifurcate but simply changes into liau and goes to Gunung Lumut to live. After the proper secondary mortuary rites have been held for the deceased by the relatives, the soul changes from liau into kelalongan and travels from Gunung Lumut up to Tenangkai, the heaven in the sky." This also seems to be the Dusun understanding of the matter (Sarwoto 1963:29). According to version (5), then, the terms juus, liau and kelelungan do not refer to different numina, but merely distinguish three different stages in the ontogenesis of the dream ego. Considering Weinstock's two major eschatological systems, Sillander (2012:101) hinted at a possible major dividing line with the Benuaq, Bentian and Teweh Luangan on one side, and the Lawangan and Dusun on the other.

(6) A sixth set of statements on Greater Luangan eschatology suggests that the numinous phenomenon denoted by the term kelelungan does not come into being only after death, but already forms a constituent of the living person. Thus, while Massing (see above) chose to interpret kelelungan as the post-mortal transformation of a living person's intellectual faculty, Weinstock (1987:261), in a third comment on the issue, explains that "kelalongan is the cognizant essence of man which is perceived of as located in the brain or the head." This, then, provokes a trichotomic reading of the constitution of a living person as composed of body, soul (i.e.juus) and kelalongan (i.e. intellectual faculty or cognizant essence).

(7) Some Indonesian ethnographers report the following final variation on the theme: Devung et al. (1990:17-18) state that "According to Dayak Benua' belief, the roh klelungaan ... is located in the human head and originates in the breath of Seniang Perjadi, who breathed it into the fontanelle of Tamarikukng and ApE Bungan Tanaa' at the time of creation of the first human." (8) The same storyline can be found in Lahajir et al. (2006:121). Following these accounts, then, kelelungan is a religious factor already present in the head of the living person, as in (6) above. Another contributor to the topic, Wirakusama (1977:24), offered the following opinion: "The Head-part (skull) happens to be the residence of the living spirit. When he dies, this living spirit will return to All-Mighty (All Substance). [...] The Below-part (body) happens to be the residence of the soul, and the soul will return to Gunung Lumut after it dies." Wirakusuma does not provide us with the Benuaq terms, but it is clear that "soul" is meant to refer to liau. It is unclear though, whether "living spirit" refers to kelelungan or juus.

Some preliminary remarks

The heterogeneity of the viewpoints just presented is quite impressive. It certainly partly reflects historical changes in Greater Luangan eschatology itself, but partly also, I think, the struggle of both ethnographers and their local interviewees to come to terms with this intricate matter. However, differences are much more pronounced in the characterizations of the kelelungan, than in the characterizations of the liau.

As regards the liau, it is obviously common understanding that it comes into being when an individual dies and that it, consequently, denotes a spirit of the dead. Differences exist as to what of the deceased turns into liau, i.e. whether it is the "shadow," "breath," or some vital bodily "force" or "principle," whether it is to be called a "spirit" or "emanation" and whether it is to be associated with the "body" or "corpse," the "lower body parts" or "bones." That the liau could, in principle, be likened to "the more carnal aspect of human nature," as Payne (2012:318) suggested, becomes understandable when considering Umaaq Tapikng's statement, above. However, it is also clear that Umaaq Tapikng's explanation was inspired by ritual speech and that the liau is not the post-mortal representation of a collection of specific body parts, but the post-mortal person as such. The liau is the dead person as "unitary person" (see also Couderc 2012:193), rather than only an aspect of him. It "resemble[s] people in their outward appearance," but is usually perceived to have a somewhat "hazy" or "ugly" appearance and "can only be seen from the side or behind." In addition, it is said to be "unable to speak" or, at least, has no articulate speech (see Hopes 1997:32, Sillander 2012:66, referring to dream interpretations). It "requires food, drink and entertainment and can feel pain and emotions" (Massing 1981:3) and, consequently, must have a SEIC (Venz 2012:212). However, it is emotionally unstable (see Payne's "spirit of passions"), debilitating and, mirroring the state of the corpse, coarse, unclean, foul like corrupted flesh and, hence, distrusted and avoided. In brief, the liau shows all the negative characteristics that Kaser's (2014:105-115, 210) comparative study mentions for a (dream ego of a) post-mortal turned into a malevolent spirit of the dead. The only difference is, at least according to some informants, that the state of the liau will not change (not even after completion of the multi-stage mortuary ritual), which is actually a characteristic of societies with a nomadic, hunter-gatherer background (Kaser 2014:217).

As regards the term's etymology, an UAN (now to be regarded as an earlier PMP) reconstruction of the Ngaju reflex was given by Dempwolff (1938:68) as *liao' 'reflection,' which would have fit Weinstock's and Sillander's associating the numen with the shadow. However, this reconstruction did not hold up and a better solution may be found in Kahlo's (1957:210) and Cain's (pers. comm. 2003) interpretation of the term as simply a euphemism for the dead person. An indication for this is, e.g., the likely Kayan cognate kelihau, glossed by Southwell (1990) as a "euphemism for a dead man, to avoid mentioning his name, (old custom); anih nah kelihau lake 'aya 'matei areh dih iah\ That's concerning old so-and-so who died a long while ago" (see also Venz 2013a:273-278).

The liau of the Greater Luangan (Northeast Barito), then, mirrors the liau of the Ngaju (Southwest Barito), the liou of the Ut Danum (Northwest Barito) and the adiau of the Ma'anyan (Southeast Barito) (see Scharer 1966:681-682, Couderc 2012:193, Hudson 1966: 360-61) and it seems that this set of terms has a long history in the area as a designation for post-mortals, which at least goes back to Proto-(Greater) Barito. Things look very different when it comes to the term kelelimgan. It is seemingly absent among the Northwest, Southwest and Southeast Barito peoples and Sillander (2012:101, cf. Mallinckrodt 1974:16, Te Wechel 1915:100-110) noted that even some Luangan groups "do not recognize kelelungan at all," i.e. only have a concept of liau. Hence, this concept is either an innovation among some portion of the Greater Luangan, or it is a cultural retention that has been lost everywhere else in the Barito region. Of course, lack of documentation may also be involved.

However this may be, the Teweh Luangan, Benuaq, and Bentian complicate the eschatological picture in that they recognize an additional term kelelungan, which has been interpreted in the most diverse ways: some see its origin in a Supreme Being or God, while the majority of scholars treat it as a religious phenomenon of human origin, some scholars explain it as part of the living person, whereas the majority treat it solely as (part of) the post-mortal person. For some scholars it comes into being upon death, whereas a minority view (Weinstock II) postpones it to the arrangement of a secondary mortuary ritual. Partly as a corollary of these differences, the kelelungan has been defined as: (1) breath, or (2) shapeless spell, or as something like (3) refined soul of the head/brain, cognizant essence of man, spirit of the mind or rational capacities, (4) refined head soul of the dead, associated with the intellect (skull), soul of the skull, or spirit of the skull of the dead. Reordering these data, the kelelungan is associated with either (1) skull, (2) head, (3) brain and/or (4) the capacities supposedly residing therein, such as the mind, intellect, thought, conscience, etc. Such characterization notwithstanding, the kelelungan is said to closely resemble the former person in its outward appearance and is able to speak (see Hopes 1997:32 and Sillander 2012:66, referring to dream interpretations). Its basic emotional mood and qualities of character are generally positive and therefore it is suited to function as a mediator between the living and beings of higher virtues. In brief, the kelelungan shows all the positive features that Kaser's (2014:127-130) comparative study mentions for a (dream ego of a) post-mortal turned into a benevolent spirit of the dead or ancestor spirit (Sillander 2012:70, Venz 2013a:662, or "first-order ancestor" see Payne 2012:345), as is characteristic "of (settled) agricultural communities, or in those derived from them" (Kaser 2014:128). But again, this scheme is compromised by the widely held belief in a parallel existence of post-mortals, the rather marginal support for a link between the juus and the kelelungan and the view, at least among some Benuaq, that the kelelungan is an aspect of a living person.

These preliminary remarks are not meant as an exhaustive account of the characteristics of the "twins," but as a fair summary of the criteria most often mentioned in the ethnographic record. More information as regards the ritual significance of the twins may be found in Sillander (2004, 2012), Herrmans (2011), Payne (2012), and Venz (2013a), some of whose data will be dealt with later. For the moment, however, the above remarks will suffice, as they already draw attention to the most essential characteristic of the kelelungan, which is its being a comparatively rare instance of a numen specifically associated with the top part of the human body (or corpse) and its alleged capacities. Some general suggestions are in place here: As I said elsewhere (Venz 2012, 2013a, b), and I was not the first, to reach an adequate understanding of local concepts such as discussed in this paper, it will not be enough to have them assigned to categories such as German "Geist," English "spirit," or Indonesian "roh." Such nomenclature is approximate at best but does not help to clarity the categorical criteria underlying local concepts. Also, definitions, such as "godly breath" or "holy spirits," are clearly inspired by Abrahamic religions and one might also wonder what a "shapeless spell" is meant to be. To be sure, ethnographic inquiry must start somewhere: The ethnographer asks the local informant for an explanation of the meaning of kelelungan and after some reflection, the answer, usually given in Bahasa Indonesia, will be something like "roh pikiran," which is then noted down by the ethnographer and translated accordingly, as, e.g., 'spirit of the mental faculties.' What we may have learned from such inquiry is that the religious phenomenon so designated is somehow associated with intellectual qualities, but we need also consider that the answer consists of two Arabic loan words borrowed into Benuaq via Bahasa Indonesia (or Kutai Malay). Such translations certainly function as a semantic bridge, but are not necessarily a key to the idea behind the translated phenomenon. Furthermore, we need to ask whether concepts, such as "intelligence," "mind," "thought," or "conscience" are really applicable in the local context, i.e. whether the local idioms express such concepts the same way we do and whether they also perceive them to be located in the head or brain.

No doubt, there are plenty of societies in Austronesia with special terms for mental faculties, such as Cebuano Visayan alimpatakan, glossed by Wolff (1972) as "n 1 the mind as the seat of thinking processes. Isilsil pag-ayu sa inyung alimpatakan arun di giyud ninyu hikalimtan, Imprint it indelibly in your mind so you don't forget it ever." And, there are many more expressions in Cebuano Visayan which confirm the choice of the gloss. However, as regards the term kelelungan, no such usages can be identified. Moreover, the notion that the "head" features in connection with thinking is not generally encountered among the Benuaq and the functions of the "brain" were also unknown. In fact, local isolects do not even have a word referring solely to the brain, as Benuaq lalu or Pasir dalu (Ibrahim 1997) refer to both 'brain (anatomical)' and '(bone) marrow,' while Benuaq otaq, 'brain,' is clearly a loan from Kutai Malay otak. Indeed, an analysis of the Benuaq concept of body reveals that rational capacities, conscience, and even morality were traditionally associated with another body part, namely (boa) asakng (Venz 2012). This organ, however, is not only the seat of intellectual capacities, but also of the emotions and character, and, hence, represents a significantly broader concept, for which Kaser (2014:148) coined the acronym SEIC (Seat of the Emotions, the Intellect and the Character). Thus, most expressions around mind and intellect were traditionally formed with the term asakng, while much of the modern vocabulary used by the Benuaq for "thought" are loans from Sanskrit (Bnq nyana 'to think' < BI menyana 'to suppose', Skr jnana 'knowledge') and Arabic (e.g. Bnq pikir < BI berpikir, Arb fikir 'to think'). Hence, it would be strange if we had to assume that an "intellectual capacity" which is, or formerly was, not even recognized by the locals as an autonomous constituent of the living person, was to become the origin of an associated "spirit" representing (half of) man's post-mortal existence.

But to cover all bases, one might still want to inquire whether the term kelelungan, or rather its variant kelalungan, is morphologically related to lain. Conceptually, this would not seem very reasonable, but still, could it be that the abstract noun is the result of the application of a circumfix ke- ... -(n)an (analogous to Bahasa Indonesia ke- ... -an, which forms abstract nouns from adjectives, verbs and other classes) turning "brain; marrow" into a more abstract concept of, let's say, "cognizant essence" (see Massing)? Such a solution would serve as a striking linguistic proof for much of the ethnographic data on the issue. However, neither Ahmad & Fernandez (1999:188) nor I have been able to document any such circumfix for Benuaq (see also keruangan, next section). The same is true for Ngabut et al.'s (1992) study on Taboyan, and it is doubtful that it exists in other Northeastern Barito isolects. For Ampah-Lawangan, Suryadikara et al. (1985:44) do mention a circumfix ke- ... -an, which is said to turn adjectives (but not basic nouns) into abstract nouns as in: gagah [right arrow] kegagahan, perlu [right arrow] keperluan or takut [right arrow] ketakutan. But this morphological marking together with the presented vocabulary, instead point to borrowing from Bahasa Indonesia. Andriastuti ct al.'s (1992) restudy of the same isolect made no further mention of it.

The reason for the pervasive association of the kelelungan with the so-called "higher capacities" seems to have another reason, and I will come back to it later. Considering all this, the next question to be asked is: If "rational capacities," the "brain," and the "head" are unlikely underlying notions for the origin of the numina called kelelungan, then what about the skulls with which many ethnographers have associated them?

kelelungan as 'skull'?

The Benuaq terminology for "skull" and its linguistic development is, indeed, interesting. Again, the Benuaq term for the substance of 'brain' and '(bone) marrow' is lain, which is a replacement innovation of PMP *hutek 'brain; marrow.' PAN and PMP *qulu 'head,' which at PMP level already displayed a number of additional meanings such as 'top part; leader, chief; headwaters; handle of a bladed implement etc.' is reflected as uluq 'handle (of various tools),' while the innovated puaq filled the lacuna of 'head.' The reflex of PMP *hutek 'brain; marrow' was not lost though, but replaced the (not uncontested) PMP etymon *batuk3 'skull,' as utak 'skull.' This seems to be a rare semantic development in Bornean, and indeed WMP languages, where reflexes tend to either retain the meaning unit 'brain; marrow' (e.g. Kadazan, Mukah Melanau), or undergo semantic specialization to either 'marrow' or 'brain' (anatomic, e.g. Kelabit, Kemaloh Lundayeh and Murik, but in a few cases with an extension to 'mind' or 'smart, intelligent', e.g. Rungus Dusun), or, in a few cases, developed the meaning 'head.' Within the Greater Barito group, Sama Bajaw languages, such as Yakan utek (Behrens 2001), Pangutaran Sama otok (Walton & Walton 1992) or Mapun utok (Collins, Collins & Hashim 2001), reportedly retained 'brain.' For Ngaju, of the western branch, Hardeland (1859) glosses untek with 'brain, (bone) marrow.' For Tunjung-Rentenuukng of the Barito-Mahakam, Nathanael (2001) cites the Malay loan--otak 'brain'--but also mentions the expression tantang utak 'ular kepala dua,' where utak obviously translates as 'head.' Some East Barito reflexes of *hutek, such as Dusun Dejah utok, Dusun Malang utek (Hudson's 1967:70) and Pasir utok (Ibrahim 1997) also seem to have shifted meaning to 'head.'9 10 As regards Luangan reflexes, Hudson (1967) cites Taboyan, Lawangan utok 'head' and Andriastuti (1992:49) and Suryadikara et al. (1985:13, 102) have utok and utek 'head' for Ampah (or Karau) Lawangan. Suryadikara et al. (1985) also gloss Lampeong Lawangan utok 'head,' but translate it with 'skull' elsewhere in the text (1985:85)'0. And indeed, Hernnans (2011:235) mentions utek as 'skull' for her "Central Luangan," which also includes the village of Lampeong as well as the upper Teweh Taboyans and Bentians (2011:4,25). Finally, Sillander (2004:352) glosses Bentian utek as 'skull'as well. Hence, judging from the above data, the semantic shift of PMP *hutek 'brain; marrow' [right arrow] 'skull' seems to be a special development in the lingo-cultural area which Herrmans (2011:21) defined as "Greater Luangan."

Some specific parts of the skull or head are designated by the following, morphologically interesting, Benuaq terms: kerepuruq 'skullcap' (which is said to be the point of entrance of the dream ego), beleluaq 'back of the head, skull' and semumuq 'fontanelle (of baby).' Two other expressions of interest are prevalent in ritual speech, namely keruangan and bungoq bayuq. The first term refers to 'bloody heads' captured in headhunting raids, which were used in former times to release a person from mourning (see Hopes et al. 1997:99 and Madrah & Karaakng 1997:101). The second expression, bungoq bayuq, refers to a deceased for whom the funerary ritual is performed and is, according to some local religious specialists, best translated as 'young flower.' The portrayal of death through images of decaying vegetation is a prominent metaphorical tool of the Benuaq's ritual idiom (see e.g. olukng layuq, 'faded olukng plant,' for the deceased). However, this translation is not undisputed among the Benuaq, many of whom locate its origin in some "older" Luangan isolect of Central Kalimantan. Indeed, while bayuq is the common word for 'new,' the Benuaq word for 'flower, blossom' is not bungoq, but bungaq, which is the regular reflex of PMP *buna 'flower, blossom.' Hence, it may well be that the phonetically similar bungoq belongs to one of the aberrant cognate sets that Blust entered into the "noice module" of his ACD, namely: "skull: skull, cranium" [right arrow] WMP Aklanon, Tagalog, Bikol buno? 'skull,' Casiguran Dumagat buno 'skull, skeleton'; Formosan Tsou fijuu, Bunun butju, Siraya votjo, Amis fotjoh, Kanakanabu na-vutju, Saaroa vutjuPu 'head.'

A final term for skull, or better, ancestor skull, which one would probably not have expected here, is kelelungan itself. R. H. Widjono AMZ, an East Kalimantan journalist of Javanese origin and married to a Benuaq, was probably the first author to translate the term kelelungan as 'skull' in a newspaper article entitled "Kawangkey" published in Manuntung on 30.11.1989: "The selimaat is a little carved box with special death motifs that contains the skulls (kelulungan) during the kuangkay ceremony (p. 27)."" Another statement is given one page later: "the pekili kelelungan ritual functions to call upon the spirit of the kelelungan (skull)." (12) I also hinted at this interpretation of kelelungan in my M.A. thesis (Venz 2003:88-89) and found confirmation of this during later fieldwork (Venz 2013:280-318). But instead of repeating myself, I point out that this state of affairs had already been reported earlier by the Benuaq author Dalmasius Madrah T. (2001), who has published a series of books on Benuaq religion and mythology in collaboration with the Australian anthropologist Michael Hopes, as well as Bapak Karaakng, who was the leading religious specialist in the Nyuwatatn area. As Madrah's book was not available to me at the time I wrote my M.A. thesis, I will take this opportunity to do justice to his earlier finding by citing him here in full: Thus, on page 11 of his book, Madrah, who was also a student of Catholicism, first defines kelelungan as 'holy spirits of the head' (BI roh-roh suci kepala). Then, in the middle section of the same page he offers a more elaborate statement: "Kelelungan has two meanings, 1) skull, captured in headhunting raids and stored as ritual objects, and 2) skull of ancestors, who had influence and authority when they were still alive (aristocrats). Kelelungan are not buried together with the bones, but stored by their children and grandchildren, for they are perceived to possess magical powers." (13) Thus, while there has been awareness among anthropologists of an association between the kelelungan and (ancestor) skulls, Widjono and Madrah seem to be the first to have drawn attention to the fact that the term kelelungan denotes the '(ancestor) skull' itself, i.e. the material object, in addition to its associated ancestor spirits.

We may also recall Zahorka's (2007:128) contribution to BRB Vol. 38, where he writes in connection with the sentiu ritual of the Benuaq-Ohookng: "For rituals lasting eight nights or more, old skulls with souls dating from the long-ago time of headhunting may be used as a medium for the wook and for the shaman's protection. The belian call these skulls kelelungan merwaaq or kelelungan panyantuhuq." And: "For major and difficult tasks, the beliatn can also call the spirits of the kelelungan merwaaq for help" (2007:135). Zahorka's panyantuhuq corresponds to Madrah's (2001:33, for the Benuaq-Idaatn) pengentuhuuq 'objects believed to possess magical power' and Sillander's (2004:351, for the Bentiaatn) penyentuhu 'spirit-associated objects used for oath-taking and general assistance in perkara by the manti.' Even more interesting is Zahorka's expression kelelungan merwaaq, the latter term of which is just another Benuaq synonym for liau (see also Gonner 2001:113). Hence, the expression simply translates as 'skull of the deceased' (cf. p. 26).

This double meaning of the term kelelungan among the Benuaq is likely to raise eyebrows, as it appears to add a further level of difficulty to Benuaq (and Greater Luangan) eschatology, which is already complicated enough. Also, there is no corroborative evidence for this in the publications of Sillander (2004, 2012) and Herrmans (2011) on the Central Luangan. To the contrary, among the latter societies the term kelelungan seems to refer exclusively to the 'ancestor spirit,' while the ancestor skull (as material object) is referred to by an expression containing the term utek 'skull' (see below). The Benuaq cognate of the latter term has, as shown above, a similar application, but here it stands, according to Bapak Ramid, who was one of my key informants and one of the eldest death priests in the Idaatn area, in a subtle semantic relation to the term kelelungan, which I may recount as follows:

After death, the human 'body' (unuk) becomes a 'corpse' (bangkay) and 'decomposes' (moraas). When a secondary mortuary ritual is performed, the coiporal remains are exhumed and cleaned, a process referred to by the verb nulaakng, lit. 'to bone', which derives from the noun tulaakng 'bone.' Hence, this process leads to a transition of the former corpse into clean bones, which are now called aning tulaakng. A conspicuous part of this ensemble is separated from the rest, namely the 'skull,' called utak aning tulaakng, or, simply, utak. During the pesengkeet ritual, skull and bones are brought into the longhouse, where they are temporarily placed in different wooden boxes. While the bones are stored in the pelangkaaq gadikng, the skull(s) are placed in the selimaat, which is a decorated rectangular, pyramid-shaped box fastened to the ceiling of the longhouse during the mungkaaq selimaat ritual. Now, following Bapak Ramid, it is only after the skulls have been placed in the selimaat that the 'skull' is no longer just an utak, but a kelelungan. Also, it is only after the ritual installation of the skull(s) in the selimaat that the ngerangkau dance may be performed (every day until the end of the ceremony), meant to entertain the deceased. On these occasions, the skull(s) are removed from the selimaat, bound to the backs of the dancers and then joyously danced down the longhouse around the selimaat. Appointing someone to the duty of pengerangkau is, by the way, not always easy, as the attendants are well aware of the potential risk entailed by the proximity of the skulls. Thus, a couple of minutes may pass with questions being asked, such as: Nceq yaq mawiq kelelungan aro? 'Who carries that kelelungan?' while pointing at the skull. There is no doubt here that the word kelelungan is used in reference to the skull (as material object), while at the same time implying the presence of the deceased himself. After the mortuary ceremony has come full circle, the skull(s) (usually only of certain persons) could, as mentioned by Madrah above, be stored in the longhouse attic. And I may add here, that such an ancestor skull was not just stored, but, of course, also used in a variety of rituals, where it was anointed with blood and given offerings, and then served as an important ritual object mediating communication with the (associated) ancestor.

In sum, then, both Bcnuaq terms, utak and kelelungan, denote skulls as objects, and a working hypothesis on their semantic difference might be formulated as follows: The first term is morphologically simple and refers to skulls as (more) ordinary objects, while the second has a more complex shape and refers to skulls as revered objects. That is, the latter term highlights the ritual significance of ancestor skulls as places, where prayers and sacrifices are offered in order to achieve contact with ancestors. Considering this function, I may emphasize that ancestor skulls fall well into the category of ritual focal points, which the science of religion refers to by the term, "altar."

The ethnographic journey of the last pages could hardly have been more perplexing, as we are now confronted with, seemingly, the most contradictory understandings of kelelungan, ranging from "spiritual" (phenomenon) to "material" (object). So, keeping the above ethnographic insights in mind, I suggest turning now to linguistic data for independent clues regarding the meaning of the term, kelelungan. The question is: Could religious significance have influenced its extraordinary shape? That is, while the ordinary dead (liau) and their skulls (utak) are surely among the essentials of Greater Luangan animism, the term kelelungan with its twofold connotation of (a) ancestor and (b) ancestor skull (which, as "altar," mediates the former), certainly carries greater religious significance. Besides, altars, as places hallowed by the ancestral presence, are intrinsically associated with taboos. Hence, it should not be surprising if the term kelelungan contained a corresponding morphological marking.

The prefix kele--

There is a difference between saying that a word has an exceptional phonetic shape or saying that it is morphologically complex. If the word kelelungan is morphologically complex, then, what are its constituent elements? An attempt to derive it from the base lain 'brain, marrow' plus an alleged circumfix ke- ... -(na)n turned out to be unconvincing. Looking at the larger East Barito group, another interesting term catches the eye, which was mentioned by Te Wechel (1915:11) in a report on the Ma'anyan notions of "soul": "When you ask: 'What is amiroe or roh?' the Dayak shrugs his shoulders. Sometimes, I was told: 'Amiroe is djiwa (life, life substance) or amiroe is 'shadow image' or even: it is our kaukalingan = mirror image; we know that it exists, but cannot feel it.'" (14) This is a most interesting piece of data, as Ma'anyan amiroe corresponds to Greater Luangan juus, which, to repeat, some informants relate to kelelungan. Indeed, many cultures identify the mirror reflection of a person and his shadow with the dream ego. (15) Among the Benuaq as well, juus is sometimes said to be reflected in 'inu (< PMP *qaninu 'shadow, reflection'). However, the formal differences between the alleged Ma'anyan term and kelehmgan do not seem to allow for treating them as cognates. In addition, the Ma'anyan term is neither mentioned in the writings of Hudson (1966, 1972), nor in Dahl (1951), and any attempt on my part to locate the term among contemporary Ma'anyan has so far been unsuccessful. The issue of "shadow" and "reflection" in connection with the "dream ego" is still a black hole in the Bornean ethnographic literature.

Extending further to the larger Bornean-Philippine literature, one may be tempted to align the term kelelungan with the following terms of phonetic and semantic similarity, namely Isneg kaduduwa 'soul, the spirit who leaves the body at death', Tagalog kaluluwa 'soul, spirit; vital principle' or Ilokano kararua 'soul; spirit.' However, these are formed from partially reduplicated reflexes of PAN *duSa (> PMP *duha) 'two' plus Ca-reduplication (with subsequent assimilation in Isneg and Tagalog) and an etymon is, as yet, only available at the level of PPh *kaduduha 'soul, spirit of a living person' (see ACD). As Blust notes, the incorporation of a reflex of *duSa in terms for "soul" (in a variety of different morphological forms) is a widespread phenomenon in Austronesia and "the notion of the soul of a living person as a 'second self' has had a longer history in the Austronesian world." Indeed, examples are also abundant in Greater Barito languages, e.g. in Ngaju hambaruan (-rua- < dua 'two') 'soul, life-force, the body-animating spirit' and in Benuaq meruaq 'spirit double' (-ruaq < duaq 'two'). However, the term kelelungan does not contain a reflex of *duSa and, hence, requires a different analysis, to which I will proceed now.

I suggest analyzing the Benuaq term kelelungan as containing a petrified prefix kele-. This prefix is part of a set of fossilized prefixes, some of which have already been cited in relation to specific parts of the head or skull above, namely kere- in e.g. kerepuruq 'skullcap,' bele- in e.g. beleluaq 'back of the head, skull' or, not yet mentioned, sele- in e.g. selebinti 'kingfisher (various sp.).' Such sets of fossilized affixes are not confined to Benuaq, Greater Luangan, or the Greater Barito group. As for Borneo, Prentice (1971:118) had already recognized a similar affix set liN- in his grammar of Timugon Murut and, indeed, such sets are abundant everywhere in western Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan and can even be traced into the languages of Oceania. It is thus a widespread phenomenon in Austronesian languages and has, in fact, already been given a comprehensive discussion by Blust (2001) in a pioneering paper entitled "Historical morphology and the spirit world: the *qali/kali- prefixes in Austronesian languages." (16) In this study, Blust took issue with this largely fossilized set of formally highly variable affixes of Austronesian languages, a basic pattern of which he generalized as PMP *qali/kali- (< PAN *kani-). What is important about *qali/ kali- morphology from the perspective of word structure is that it leads to a deviation from the (statistical) tendency to disyllabism (i.e. disyllabic base forms) in PAN and the Austronesian languages. Also, the *qali/*kali- prefix in Austronesian languages is only found with "marked" members of a limited number of semantic categories, namely (1) specific species of animals, such as "creepy-crawly creatures" (e.g. bats, centipedes, spiders, flying foxes), fish and birds, (2) specific species of plants, (3) particular natural phenomena (e.g. rainbows, whirlwinds, sunshowers, reflections), (4) notable body parts, (5) words for "spirits," (6) taboo words and, finally, (7) other semantic categories linked to the above by semantic contagion, such as "restless," "dizzy," "noisy," or "drunk." (17)

However, the function of the *qali/kali- affixes "... cannot be inferred by reference to the 'real world' but only through reference to ethnological categories which relate to the fundamental concepts of animism" (Blust 2001:15). Thus, the qali/kali- "affixal word family" (Blust 2001:33) presents us with a multi-facetted phenomenon of Austronesian cultures, which Blust explained as follows (2001:58-59):
   ... many of the referents of nominal *qali/kali- forms are of a
   type likely to be associated with taboo ... If an object is taboo,
   it must, for reasons of avoidance, be recognized with greater
   clarity than other objects.... an effective means of facilitating
   such recognition would be through the use of distinctive linguistic
   marking ... if PAN and its descendants lacked quadrisyllabic stems,
   *qali-/kali- words would have had high perceptual salience ... it
   provides a natural explanation for the generally fossilized
   character of the affix in question, since it would have been
   more-or-less obligatory ... it explains hyperallomorphy, since the
   * qali/kali- affix lengthened disyllabic bases into canonically
   distinctive quadrisyllabic words; as a result, the phonemic content
   of the affix was less important than the number of syllables it
   contained, and consequently was free to vary. In short, then, the
   function of the prefix evidently was to mark facets of experience
   that were regarded as spiritually dangerous, hence requiring
   special precautions of a sort likely to be violated by incompletely
   acculturated children. It did this purely by lengthening the
   affixed word to an atypical quadrisyllabic shape, hence marking the
   associated semantic categories as those requiring particular
   behavioral sensitivity.

Blust's study of *qali/kali- morphology provides a strong case for the importance of language in studies of Austronesian animism(s) and should also be of interest for anthropologists working in this part of the world. For the purpose of this paper, it suffices to take cognizance of the fact that PMP had *qali/kali- prefixes, which have become fossilized in most of the Austronesian languages and that lexemes containing such morphological marking share "... an important common property, although it is neither a linguistic property, nor a semantic property which can be perceived in the natural world. Rather, what defines many *qali/kali- words, and distinguishes them from unmarked lexical categories of similar semantic content, is a dangerous connection with the world of spirits" (Blust 2001:55, also 2013:368).

In Benuaq, and other Greater Luangan isolects, PMP *kali- is mostly reflected as kele- (or kela-, kala-), sometimes as kere-. (18) These prefixes are found in lexemes of the same semantic classes mentioned by Blust and mark, as expected, the conspicuous members of their respective categories. Considering the class of body terms, we find the more general or semantically "unmarked" words, such as inataq 'eye,' kami 'hand,' tulaakng 'bone,' or kelingaq 'ear,' tending to simple disyllabism (or trisyllables), while semantically marked words, such as kelebamaakng 'scapula, shoulder blade,' kelepisikng 'temples, ' kereranum 'amniotic fluids, waters, ' or kerepuruq 'skullcap,' are quadrisyllable words containing the prefix *kali-. The prefix is also displayed in kelebetutn 'chicken gizzard,' a specialized stomach found in the digestive tract of these birds, notable in Benuaq cuisine. In addition, *kali-morphology can be found in the word for 'butterflies,' kelelemaakng, which the Benuaq regard as signs of the dead. It is also an element of words for plants, shrubs, and trees of special color or shape which are used for medicinal or ritual purposes, such as kelebahuq 'Lat. Glochidion obscurum.' The prefix kele- is also prominent among ritual terms, such as kelelayaakng 'traditional recompensation (or "salary") given to a ritual specialist,' kelelemo 'cloths, jewelry,' or kelemutatn 'goods or provisions for the dead.' Last but not least, the prefix is also found in the context of illness and unpleasant body feelings, such as kelelukeetn 'feverish' or kelelumaaq 'fuzzy; blurred, confused.' These and a selection of other *qali/kali- words from Benuaq and various other Bornean languages are given in the following table:
Table kele-words in Borneo


Benuaq      kelelungan         skull; spirit of a    Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelebamaakng       shoulder blade        Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelepisikng        temples               Venz(2013a)

Benuaq      kereranum          waters                Venz(2013a)

Benuaq      kelebetutn         (chicken) gizzard     Venz (2013a)

Kayan       kelehevek          eye sockets           Southwell

Kayan       kelekuset          baby wrinkles on      Southwell
                               lower arm or face     (1990)

Iban        kelekanit          roof (of mouth)       Bruggeman

Iban        kelekuan           wrist (kuan =         Richards
                               wrist)                (1981)

Mualang     kelempetan         backside of knee      Tjia (2007)


Benuaq      kelelukeetn        kind of illness;      Venz (2013a)

Kayan       kelepatung         1. an irritable       Southwell
                               rash on the body;     (1990)
                               red spots, 2.
                               abrasions on the
                               body. 3. irritation
                               from insect bites.
                               4. larvae of
                               insects in a pond.

Bidayuh     karibitkan         (Adj) sick due to     Nais (1988)

Bidayuh     karibitun          (Adj) 1.              Nais (1988)
                               constipation 2.
                               sluggish condition
                               of the bowels. 3.
                               indigestion. 4.
                               dyspeptic. 5.
                               failure to heed the
                               call of nature.

Melanau,    kelalaan           sj penyakit bayi      Dewan Pustaka
Mukah                          disebabkan bapa       dan Bahasa
                               atau ibunya           Sarawak (2011)
                               berzina, berkendak
                               atau bermukah


Benuaq      keleBurnukng        kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)
                               (sejenis meranti)

Benuaq      kelebahuq          kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)
                               (Lat. Glochidion

Benuaq      kelebetiq          kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelebotooq         kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelebutaq          kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelejempiq         kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013a)
                               (Lat. Guioa

Benuaq      kelelongoi         kind of root          Venz(2013a)

Benuaq      kelemunyikng       kind of small tree,   Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelepapaaq         kind of tree, wood    Venz (2013 a)
                               (Lat. Vitex

Bidayuh     karimansang        1. horse-mango (N)    Nais (1988)
                               2. a type of mango
                               with a strong smell

Melanau,    kelamubuong        sj pokok renek yg     Dewan Pustaka
Mukah                          buahnya digemari      dan Bahasa
                               burung punai,         Sarawak (2011)
                               rentap, Lat.
                               Timonius flavescens

Punan       kelemngi           kunyit                Devung et
Tubu                                                 al. (1998)


Benuaq      kelelemaakng       butterfly             Venz (2013a)

Melanau,    kelakutut          kutu air              Dewan Pustaka
Mukah                                                dan Bahasa
                                                     Sarawak (2011)

Kayan       kelebavah          moth                  Southwell (1990)

Kayan       kelebawei          cattle egret          Southwell (1990)
                               (bubulcus ibis)

Kayan       kelebuan           chameleon lizard      Southwell (1990)

Kayan       kelebuken          green imperial        Southwell (1990)
                               pigeon (Lat. Ducula

Kayan       kelekuha'          white-breasted        Southwell (1990)
                               water hen

Bahau       kelevuan           bunglon               Sombroek (1986)

Busang      kelekidoe'         de pop v.e. vlinder   Barth (1910)

Busang      kelekto'           vlinder = njap to'    Barth (1910)

Kelabit     kelelatih          earthworm             Amster (1995)

Kelabit     kelelebpang        butterfly, moth       Amster (1995)

Lun-Dayeh   kelelatih          earthworm             Ganang (2006)

Banua       kalibarau          burung sawah          Rusbiyantoro
                               pemakan padi          et al. (2008)

Iban        kelebembang        butterfly             Bruggeman (1985)

Iban        keleBurnbu          butterfly             Richards (1981)

Iban        kelelawai          butterfly             Richards (1981)

Mualang     kelampepat         firefly               Tjia (2007)

Punan       kelefu'ang         sejenis ular          Devung et al.
Tubu                                                 (1998)

Kutai       kelebarau          nama burung (sb       Bahrah (2000)

Kutai       kelebere           nama ikan, jenis      Bahrah (2000)
                               ikan baong kecil-

Kutai       kelembuai          siput air yg suka     Bahrah (2000)
                               hidup melekat di
                               tiang yg didirikan
                               dim air

Banjar      halilipan          lipan                 Iiapip (2008)

Banjar      halimanyar         kelemayar             Hapip (2008)

Paser       kelokombang        kupu-kupu             Ibrahim (1997)

Kedayan     kelemumur          kalimumu              Dewan Bahasa
                                                     dan Pustaka
                                                     Sarawak (2013)

Begak-      kalibatnbang       butterfly             Goudswaard
Ida'an                                               (2005)

Yakan       kala'olang         spiny lobster         Behrens (2000)

            kalamunggay        Malungai;             Behrens (2000)
                               horseradish tree.
                               Moringa oleifera (A
                               tree, the leaves of
                               which are used as a
                               vegetable. They are
                               small and round.)

Kadazan     tongkulihambang    butterfly, moth       Kadazan Society
                                                     Sabah (2011)


Benuaq      kelelayaakng       traditional payment   Venz (2013a)
                               given to a ritual
                               specialist at the
                               end of a ritual in
                               the form of meat,
                               plates and cloth
                               (also lahts)

Benuaq      kelelayuuq         batik cloth used as   Venz (2013 a)

Benuaq      kelelemo           (ritual term)         Venz (2013a)
                               cloths, jewelry

Benuaq      kelelio            syn. kelelungan       Venz (2013 a)

Benuaq      -kelelangtin       reduplication of      Venz (2013a)

Benuaq      kelemutatn         bawaan roh orang-     Venz (2013a)
                               orang mati

Central     kerewaiyu          harvest ritual        Herrmans
Luangan                                              (2011:233)

Ngaju       kalabawai          ein in den Waldem     Hardeland
                               hausend Gespenst      (1859)

Kayan       kelebusen          newly bereaved        Southwell
                               (word from old        (1990)
                               customs, implying

Iban        kelekuyang         tiang k., upright     Richards (1981)
                               stake of bamboo
                               splayed at the top
                               to form a canonical
                               basket, decorated
                               with leaves (of
                               pinang, isang) and
                               set at the foot of
                               the main steps to
                               receive offerings
                               and new head
                               trophies until they
                               have been properly
                               treated and made
                               ready to be brought
                               up into the house.
                               2. Place or
                               (bengkong, ringka')
                               over the hearth
                               where heads are
                               hung: (fig.) head
                               trophy (antu pala')

Bidayuh,    kalintuban         bad omen              DBNA (2013)

Murut,      kalaganan          sj. semangat          Brewis &
Timugon                        halimunan             Brewis (2004)


Benuaq      kelewako           tandus muda (umur     Venz(2013a)
                               2-10 tahun) yang
                               bisa digunakan
                               untuk penanaman

Benuaq      kelelumaaq         fuzzy                 Venz (2013a)

Melanau,    kelabuten          cuaca tidak menentu   Dewan Pustaka
Mukah                                                dan Bahasa
                                                     Sarawak (2011)

Kayan       kelebangan         steep edge of         Southwell (1990)
                               mountain or

Kayan       kelepatei          (see matei) relaxed   Southwell (1990)

Kayan       kelekawah          the air, or           Southwell (1990)

Bahau       kelehive 'ei       spread, scatter,      Sombroek (1986)
                               strewn about (e.g.,

Bahau       kelekapah          kaki langit           Sombroek (1986)

Bahau       kelevanei          1. halus, kecil; 2.   Sombroek (1986)
                               sj buah; 3. sj
                               manik yg halus

Busang      kelekitak          modderig, drassig,    Barth (1910)

Iban        kelemayang         shadow                Bruggeman (1985)

Iban        kelelanji          fine, fair to see     Bruggeman (1985)

Kutai       kelelatu           pergi ke mana-mana    Bahrah (2000)
                               tanpa tujuan

The above list is meant to give an idea of the relevance of *qali/kali- morphology in the context of Borneo but is, of course, far from exhaustive. The examples have been selected for their transparency of *qali/kali- reflexes, but there are many more *qali/kaliwords, which are covered through the loss of the morpheme boundary, having occurred in the history of such words or other processes of linguistic change. Some examples are: Oma Longh Kenyah lemate' and Kiput kematek 'leech' < PMP *qali-matek 'leech' (Blust 2002:432, 2007:47), Iban lintah 'buffalo or water leech,' and Malagasy dinta 'leech' < PMP *qali-metaq 'water or river leech (Hirudinaria spp.)', Singih Land Dayak nowan 'house bee' and Benuaq nuaan 'jenis tawon dim lubang yg berair' < PMP *qarinuatfi 'a small bee' or Kelabit li'ip < PWMP *qali-peqip 'scapula' (Blust 2001:49).

In analyzing *qali/kali- words, one has to deal with two problems at the same time: (1) the hyperallomorphic prefix and (2) the no less important lexical "rest." In some cases, both the base and the variant of the prefix are (fully) comparable and allow for straightforward linguistic reconstructions, while the etyma, in turn, can be used to identify so far unrecognized reflexes in individual languages. Such an example is PAN *qaNimatek 'jungle leech, Haemadipsa spp.' (see ACD). The base form occurs with a range of prefix variants in different languages. As for Borneo: Ngaju hala-mantek 'small black leech that lives on trees' < PMP *qala-matek, Bintulu ka-matak 'leech' < PWMP *kalimatek, Kadazan hi-matok 'jungle leech' < PWMP *qali-matek and Mukah Melanau selematek 'large jungle leech' < PWMP *sali-matek. Some WMP and CMP languages (e.g. Manggarai mantek 'jungle leech, Haemadipsa spp.') display unaffixed base forms with the same meaning, so that an independent root PAN *-matek 'jungle leech, Haemadipsa spp.' can be posited, which again provides additional supportive evidence for the reconstruction of its morphologically complex counterpart (Blust 2001:24).

However, many *qali/kali- words have geographically more restricted cognate sets and still others appear to be language-specific. In almost all of the latter cases, the corresponding bases remain synchronically unanalyzable in the majority of Austronesian languages and this is also true with many kele- words in Benuaq. Thus, none of the following, -betutn in kelebetutn '(chicken) gizzard', -bahuq in kelebahuq or -mutatn in kelemutatn have a separate lexical identity in synchronic terms, nor are any reconstructions available. Other cases invite speculation: Does -puruq in kerepuruq 'skullcap' originate in PAN *punuq 'brain, marrow'? It would be possible on semantic grounds (see PMP *hutek 'brain, marrow' > Benuaq utak 'skull'), but medial -r- in Benuaq does not reflect PAN -n-, *punuq is not a *qali/kali- word and its reflexes seem to be restricted to Formosan languages. Another type is represented by Benuaq le-pusu-tn, which together with Taboyan li-pusu and Dusun Dejah lum-pusul 'heart,' may look like an earlier qali/kali- word, but reflects PMP *pusuq[] 'heart of a person or animal; purple heart-shaped inflorescence of banana plant,' which cannot be reconstructed as a * qali/kali- word. Yet another class consists of more or less covered * qali/kali- words, such as mtaan 'jenis tawon dim lubang yg berair', which seems to reflect a phonemically irregular base of PMP *qari-nuan 'a small bee.' However, in some cases the semantic background of the base is surprisingly transparent: Thus, kereramtm 'amniotic fluids, waters' clearly points to a division into kere- and -ranum, where the base can be linked to Benuaq danum 'water,' both on semantic grounds and because of the regularity of d- > -r- in affixed forms (see e.g. me-raraq 'to be sick' < daratn 'the feeling of being sick'). Similarly, kelelio, a synonym of kelelungan, can well be split into kele- and -lio, the base of which is an adjective meaning 'clean,' 'clear,' or 'pure.' Also, in kelelemo 'cloths, jewelry,' one can easily discern the base lemo 'cloths.' (19) The burning question is: Is the base -lungan in the term kelelungan also such a transparent base or, if not, are there any other clues to its meaning?

To recapitulate, this key religious term of the Greater Luangan has seen the most diverse interpretations. It has been treated in abstract terms and glossed as 'godly breath,' 'cognizant essence,' 'head soul,' or 'ancestor spirit,' etc., but also as a term for ancestor skull, i.e. as a material object. In addition, I pointed to the fact that, according to all ethnographic data, ancestor skulls served as altars. The idea behind this section was to find linguistic arguments through a semasiological and morphological analysis of the term kelelungan, which is hoped to disclose all of its connotations and "the characterizing and categorical criteria of the phenomena so designated" (Bicrbach & Cain 1996: 1). As a result, I have found that the term kelelungan is morphologically complex and that it contains a reflex of PMP *kali-, which highlights the religious significance of the phenomena designated by this term. And, if this term contains a fossilized prefix, then, there is a lexical rest in need of explanation. Unfortunately, no synchronic independent base -lungan exists in Benuaq itself. Yet, this section would be incomplete without consideration of the following data:

It is to be noted that the American anthropologist Joseph Weinstock (1983) who worked among the upper Teweh-Luangan in 1979-1981 and published a pioneering dissertation entitled "Kaharingan and the Luangan Dayaks: Religion and Identity in Central-East Borneo," chose to spell his 'refined soul of the head/brain' not as kelelungan, but as kelalongan (1983:27). While his writing kele- as kela- (and other variants, such as Devung's 1990:17-18 shortened kle- in klelungaan), is easily accounted for by the fact that the force of *qali/kali- affixes is not carried by its phonemic content (see Blust 2001:58), his choice for -o- instead of -u- (= the near-close back rounded u) in -longan is noteworthy. As Central Kalimantan has been pinpointed as the heartland (and an early center of dispersal) of the Luangan, one is tempted to interpret it as a more conservative variant. But then, it just seems to reflect a different orthographical convention or probably even a misspelling of Weinstock's, as Henmans (2011) also uses the -u- form. Whatever the truth, now that we have encountered an alleged base -longan, it is worth mentioning that in all documented Greater Luangan isolects, longan is indeed a lexeme in its own right. In addition, its meaning seems to correlate well with the earlier finding that ancestor skulls function as altars. Thus: Hopes (1997:187) glosses Benuaq longan: "Ritual apparatus; spirit house in a ceremony," and Sillander (2004:350, see also Henmans 2011:233), defines its Bentiaatn cognate as "certain upright, temporary or permanent, ritual structures serving as places of congregation for spirits during rituals." Hence, this term clearly refers to types of "altars." The probably most interesting longan is a type of permanent structure, which the Central Luangan call longan teluyen 'ironwood longan,' or just longan (Sillander 2004:350 and Hermans 2011:233). (20) According to Sillander (2004:102-103), these have become extremely rare in the region but can still be observed among the Bentiaatn. His description reads as follows (2004:98-99):
   lou [longhouses] are associated with the ancestors. A concrete
   manifestation of this association is the longan, an ungainly wooden
   structure consisting of some four to eight ironwood poles holding
   up a shelf on which certain ancestral objects are stored.... A
   longan used to be part of most lou, and it can be said to have
   formed the ritual center of the lou, (21) or, in James Fox's
   (1993:1) words, "the ritual attractor." Interestingly, this
   structure, around which most ritual action concerned with ancestors
   takes place (and in the proximity of which also skulls from certain
   prominent ancestors are stored), used to be seen as the mark and
   defining characteristic of a lou [...] The capacity of a lou for
   providing ... blessings lies in the continuity between the living
   and the dead which it is seen to embody most specifically in the
   longan ... and the ancestor skulls and other ancestral objects
   stored nearby and above it, in the rafters...

The longan, then, represents the ritual center of a Bentiaatn longhouse as it provides the focal point for ancestors, their skulls and other ancestral objects. Interestingly, the relation between longan, ancestor skulls and ancestor spirits is even conceptual as well as terminological, as Sillander's (2004:181) following comment testifies: KJelelungan, unlike liau, can become a protecting spirit [...] when and if (only a selected few undergo this procedure) the skull of the deceased, during an elaborate mortuary ritual (gombok mpe selimat) involving exhumation of the bones, is brought into the house to be stored nearby the longan or above it, in the rafters, as an 'ancestor skull', which is then called utek tuha longan, lit. 'elder's skull of the longan'" (see also 2012:72). This information, which is also confirmed by Herrmans (2011:40-41), provides surprising evidence that the Central Luangan concept of "ancestor skull" (as opposed to non-ancestor skulls, such as utek layau 'skull of enemy or outsider' [Sillander 2004:352] or 'old headhunt skull' [Herrmans 2011:111]) is indeed related to the concept of "altar." During the gombok mpe selimat ritual, the deceased's skull is turned into an ancestor skull as it becomes part of the longhouse's ritual center, i.e. the longan, which is, consequently, a definitional criterion of the (term for) "ancestor skull." Moreover, the "ancestor skull" depends as much on the longan to become a "ritual focal point" as the kelelungan depends on the "ancestor skull" to become a "protecting spirit." Or put differently, a kelelungan (of protector status) presupposes an "elder's skull of the longan," which again presupposes a longan.

Considering this conceptual chain, it would not seem too farfetched to ask whether the Greater Luangan term kelelungan (i.e. Weinstock's kelalongan) itself may have started out as kele- + -longan, i.e. as a compound defining (a) the "ancestor skull" as a special kind of "altar," that is, as a special ritual object requiring particular behavioral sensitivity and, as a corollary, defining (b) the "ancestor" in terms of its "skull"? Alas, this hypothesis seems to force us to assume a change from longan to -lungan, which, although not impossible (in the realm of *qali/kali- words), is difficult to prove. However, such an assumption is probably not even necessary, as the existence of an East Dusun cognate lungan is documented in a 100-year old article of Te Wechel's (1915:51), where he reports the following incident from the village of Buntok: "In the village there was a person who, having recovered from a long-term illness, promised to sacrifice to all the Gods, and because the Dayak--especially those in West Dusun--sometimes claim that the earth and the air consist of 7 lapis or floors, our Buntok man constructs a bamboo scaffold--a lungan bulau or gold field--but with 8 floors, out of fear of missing one heaven." Hence, notwithstanding Te Wechel's translation "gold field," East Dusun lungan clearly refers to a type of altar, (22) while Sarwoto (1963, cited in Sillander 2012:101) cites kalalungan as the Dusun term for ancestors. Among the Dusun, then, the vowels finally match, provided, of course, the authors refer to the same group. Unfortunately, I am not in possession of Sarwoto's publication to go into more detail here, but the southern area of Greater Luangan is surely worth a second look as regards the history of the concept of kelelungan (again: the Dusun and Lawangan do without bifurcation).

In my Ph.D. thesis (Venz 2013a:320), I pointed to the surprisingly similar Maranao (of the Philippines) term kalilangan, which also refers to "altars where evil spirits are appeased with sacrifices" (Blust 2010:22) as additional evidence for the above hypothesis. Indeed, Blust treated this Maranao lexeme as reflecting kali- + -langan. However, there are doubts now whether kalilangan really is a *qali/kali- word. (23) Still, there are other non-cognate *qali/kali- words in Borneo referring to ritual structures with significant relation to skulls. An example is Iban kelekuyang, glossed by Richards (1981): "bang k., upright stake of bamboo splayed at the top to form a canonical basket, decorated with leaves (of pinang, isang) and set at the foot of the main steps to receive offerings and new head trophies until they have been properly treated and made ready to be brought up into the house. 2. Place or container (bengkong, ringka ') over the hearth where heads are hung: (fig.) head trophy (antu pala ')." (24) Last but not least, I may mention Ma'anyan kerewunge seemingly a morphologically complex variant of Benuaq bungoq, which here solely refers to skull. Kerewunge' adiau mate means 'the skull of a dead (person)' (see Zahorka's kelelungan merwaaq above). It is also worth mentioning here that one of the earliest writers on Southeast Barito eschatology, Te Wechel (1924 in Stohr 1959:79), (25) reported that it was, in fact, the adiau who took seat in a skull during mortuary rituals!

In sum, the hypothesis of a linguistic origin of kelelungan as a special type of altar (i.e. special altar > skull > ancestor spirit) may well point in the right direction, but more data will be needed to settle the case. However, the above philological analysis has provided clear evidence of the importance of Blust's *qali/kali- "affixal word family" (Blust 2001:33) as a prominent feature of Bornean animistic thought. The Greater Luangan term kelelungan doubtlessly contains a fossilized prefix kele- highlighting the religious and ritual relevance of the referent(s) of the compound, which are "ancestor spirit" and, specifically among the Benuaq, "ancestor skull." We are left, then, with the historical problem of the double meaning of the term kelelungan among the Benuaq in particular, and the pervasive association of the ancestral numen with the higher capacities among the Greater Luangan in general. These two issues will be briefly discussed in the following two sections. In the final section, the findings of this paper will be brought into a more integrated presentation of Benuaq eschatology.

"Skull" vs. "ancestor"

Considering the ethnographic data presented so far, a major division seems to exist in the Greater Luangan area between the Benuaq and the Central Luangan as regards their respective usage of the term kelelungan. Among the former, it refers to both the "ancestor spirit" and "ancestor skull," while among the latter, it refers exclusively to the "ancestor spirit." The question is: what to make of this difference? As the Benuaq live at the periphery of the Luangan heartland, one would expect the Central Luangan to represent a more conservative state of Greater Luangan culture. In fact, according to both groups, the Benuaq borrowed much of their mortuary praxis from the Bentiaatn in the 19th century (see also Sillander 2004:248), substituting it for their former, and still poorly documented, sentangih ritual. One would, of course, expect such borrowing (e.g. via ritual liturgy) to have influenced the ideological dimensions of Benuaq eschatology as well. However, the degree of retention (from a common cultural core), borrowing and innovation in Benuaq religious thought and praxis are, as yet, issues difficult to measure. It is also to be noticed that the Benuaq developed a much more elaborate mortuary system with a great variety of funerary monuments (tomb posts, tomb huts, etc.) associated with their (formerly) highly stratified social structure. Thus, both groups are sufficiently different, as regards both their funeral rituals and religious terminology, to be treated as variations on a common cultural core.

Therefore, as regards the difference between the Central Luangan and Benuaq understandings of the term kelelungan, I will reformulate the above question as follows: Which of the two major meanings of the term might, in principle, have come first? More precisely: Have the Benuaq applied an earlier word for "ancestor spirit" to the "ancestor skull"? As the concrete usually precedes the abstract, one might argue that "ancestor skull" was the original referent, whence, pars pro toto, it came to reference "ancestor," as the "skull" is also its best visual and symbolic representative. A similar case is: PMP *batuk3 'skull' > Arosi bwau- 'head; chief, leader' (see ACD). However, the opposite reading, namely that the term started out as a designation for 'ancestor' and was only later used to refer to 'skull,' totum pro parte, seems also possible. A case in point is: Nuclear-Polynesian (NP) *kolo-matu(q)a 'elderly or wise person' > Tahitian oromatua 'the skull of a dead relative preserved ... the ghosts of the dead ...' (Davies 1851, see POLLEX-Online 2010-2015. Simon J Greenhill, Ross Clark & Bruce Biggs).

In Austronesian languages, notions of "soul of a living person" frequently show (the incorporation of) a reflex of the word "two" (PAN *duSa) or 'breath' (PWMP *qasetj), while notions of "spirit of a dead person" often derive from terms reconstructed as 'deity' (e.g. PMP *qatuan, but see Hawai'ian akua 'God, spirit, corpse' etc.), 'ancestor' (e.g. PMP *andun), 'grandparent' (e.g. PMP *[a,e,u,i]mpu), but also 'corpse' (e.g. PMP *qanitu 'corpse, ghost, ancestral spirit etc.') as well as terms related to the manipulation of the corpse, in societies where such practices exist. A detailed discussion of the latter strategy will be found in Bierbach and Cain (1996), who argued that Polynesian terms for "spirits of the dead," such as Easter Island akuaku, Ra'ivavae orovaru, Tahiti varua or Mangareva tupapaku, are formed on word bases which were sensitive in the processing, reducing and preservation of the corpse (e.g. 'to scrape', 'to dry' etc). It is not inconceivable, then, that in societies with a pronounced religious interest in specific parts of the human corpse, such as skulls, terms for "ancestors" would be derived from them. Indeed, a common thread among Greater Luangan groups is the dependence of the notion of "ancestor" on the "skull." This is also true of the Central Luangan, where the ancestor spirit does not only depend on the ancestor skull to become a protecting spirit, but where the notion of kelelungan as such, as Sillander (2004:180) explained, is "associated with the deceased's skull."

Still, the question as to the primacy of the meaning of "skull" or "ancestor" is not necessarily to be answered in terms of either/or. Indeed, serious research into such matters is still lacking and the potential of Cain & Bierbach's (1996) analysis of the respective Polynesian terminology has not yet sufficiently explored related terminologies in other areas of Austronesia, let alone Borneo: While the Arosi and Tahiti terms above seem to reflect straightforward historical derivations between 'skull' [left and right arrow] 'elder,' plenty of other ethnographic data (ongoing research) point to the corpse as the primary linguistic template of many "spirit (of the dead)" terms in Austronesia. Here, "spirit" is conceptually and terminologically anchored in "matter," i.e. both form a package. Put differently: the difference between "ancestor skull" and "ancestor spirit" or "skull" and "spirit of the skull" exists first and foremost in the English language, while the Benuaq term kelelungan carried both meanings at the same time (as is also the case with Tahitian oromatua 'skull' and 'ghost' above); at least until foreign religious terminology provided additional means for linguistic differentiation (see Arabic roh below). While Greater Luangan's concern with man's final destiny is usually called "eschatology," it surely was never part of a theology, not even a "-logy" in the sense of a study of spiritual existence as sharply contrasted with the material body (and Umaaq Tapikng's description of the liau, presented earlier in the paper, is just one more example of this).

kelelungan as "mind"?

I now turn to the third major aspect of kelelungan, which is its pervasive association with the intellectual faculties. Again, in many cultures such faculties arc either part of a more encompassing concept of SEIC (located in different parts of the body), or are specifically related to the brain or head. But are we willing to accept a connection to the skull? Probably only in a symbolic sense. I have commented on this in my preliminary remarks and also pointed to the Cebuano Visayan term alimpatakan, glossed by Wolff (1972) as "n 1 the mind as the seat of thinking processes." Interestingly, Wolff gives a second meaning, which is: "2 cranium. Dakdakan ku nang liming alimpatakan, I'll knock you on your skull." Thus, the Cebuano Visayan term, seemingly the only other example of this kind in the Borneo-Philippine area, appears to corroborate the alleged Greater Luangan situation and is, in addition, also a *qali/kali- word. However, all other sentences with alimpatakan given as examples contained in Wolff's 1290-page dictionary translate as its first sense, while the more frequent term for 'skull' seems to be bagulbagul (see also Yap & Bunye 1971: bagolbdgol 'skull'). Finally, in contrast to kelelungan, Cebuano Visayan alimpatakan is not used in reference to members of its traditional pantheon and can, therefore, be discarded as supportive evidence.

So, whence kelelungan's association with the higher capacities? The reason for this association is not to be found in the term's own semantics, nor in an alleged belief in a special capacity of the skull, but rather, a corollary of animistic logic, as it lies in the definition of "ancestral beings" itself. While "the intelligence of malevolent spirit beings," e.g. the liau, "is reckoned to be not particularly high" (Kaser 2014:109), ancestors as a rule, are "men and women who were known for their intelligence, their knowledge, and their predominantly positive disposition, and already of particularly good repute during their lifetime ... (Thiel 1999:208, in Kaser: 134)." It is: "[o]n account of their intelligence [that] they are outstandingly suited as helpers in time of need. Hence one can turn to them with requests and offerings." However, "in spite of their intelligence and basic positive mood their disposition can occasionally darken (Kaser: 125)." Now, it is debatable, as I will show further below, whether all of the kelelungan meet the criteria of this definition of ancestor, but there is no question that these benevolent beings are generally characterized by such psychic-moral qualities.

Nowadays, the double meaning of the term kelelungan is often clarified by the Benuaq with the help of the Arabic roh (BI 'spirit of life,' 'soul,' 'spirit,' see Stevens & Schmidgall-Tellings 2010) as: (1) kelelungan 'ancestor skull' and (2) roh kelelungan 'ancestor spirit.' The generally more pronounced fieldwork interest in "spirits" (rather than "skulls") naturally led to an emphasis of the latter in anthropological discourse and engendered chains of thought (interpretations and translations), both among the locals and their ethnographers, that led to ever more abstraction: the roh kelelungan as 'ancestor spirit' turned into the 'spirit of the skull' (BI roh tengkorak), 'spirit of the head' (BI roh kepala), 'spirit of thought' (BI roh pikiran), 'intellect' (BI intelek), 'conscience' (BI kesadaran), 'reason(ing)' (BI rasio), 'formless spell' and, in Christian circles, to the 'breath' of man, originating in God and returning to him after death. It also seems logical that a spirit so closely associated with the top part of the human body inevitably must have led to an understanding of liau as a 'spirit of the lower parts of the body' (BI jiwa bagian bawah tubuh), as a special modern reading of the belief in a bifurcated spirit of the dead.

The religious interest of earlier small-scale societies in "mental faculties" has surely also been facilitated by the more trichotomic concept of man held by the Christian missions, which in addition to "body" and "soul" (as SEIC and being that survives the body and perpetuates its personality), also know of a "spirit" of man as his "mental faculties" (Kaser 2014:43). A similar case comes from Samoa (Cain 1979:54-57): In the pre-Christian era the inhabitants of this Polynesian island believed that the aitu, i.e. the post-mortal agaga 'soul,' would find its final resting place in the lands of Pulotu or Salefe'e. When the Christian congregations were taught that the soul to goes back to God Almighty, a logical conflict arose as regards these two different eschatological arrangements. Protestant Samoans then turned the term mafaufau 'mind, brain, memory' (Milner 1993) or 'conscience' (Cain 1979) into a religious category, which could remain on earth as an aitu, while the agaga went to God. In contrast to that, the Catholic Church left the traditional belief untouched, but developed atamai 'cleverness, intelligence, wisdom' (Milner 1993) into 'soul' and taught that it went to God.

Overall, then, the notion of kelelungan as a constituent of the living person, as 'intellect,' 'godly breath,' etc., is surely a reflex of a local encounter with world religions and, therefore, of modern change. It is not deeply rooted in Benuaq society and, indeed, contradicts the majority view. If this paper has taught anything, it is that kelelungan is a religious phenomenon, which concerns the perpetuation of a person's personality after death, its transformation from a malevolent into a benevolent being and, most importantly, that it cannot be understood without reference to the deceased's skull. This, however, casts doubt on some ethnographic representations of Benuaq post-mortal bifurcation presented in the beginning of this paper. For, how to characterize kelelungan's existence prior to the availability of the deceased's skull? In fact, the pertinent literature has virtually nothing to tell us about it. It was probably Massing (1981:3) who, in a pioneering paper, "On the funerary rites of the Benuaq," first reported that upon death "the kelelungan proceeds at once to a place in heaven called Tenangkai." However, evidence in support of this finding has never been published and, indeed, it is no straightforward matter, not even for the most knowledgeable ritual specialists among the Benuaq. An alleged existence of the kelelungan upon death also opens questions as to its characteristics at different stages of the multi-staged mortuary ritual. It also opens the question of the function of the funeral rites in its development and as to when the kelelungan becomes a "benevolent ancestor capable of mediation." In fact, the last question should systematically be split into three, namely: (1) When does a kelelungan become (1) benevolent, (2) an ancestor, and (3) a protecting spirit? And, finally, how does the kelelungan relate to its associated liau in perpetuating the personality of the deceased? The concluding section is meant to address these questions by way of an integrated narrative of Benuaq eschatology largely informed by discussions with the late Bapak Ramid, who is, of course, not to be held responsible for any errors. While the following presentation cannot be more than a resume of major characteristics, it may help to balance earlier reports on Benuaq eschatology.

Benuaq eschatology: A synopsis

This paper started out with a summary of the diversity of ethnographic views on Greater Luangan eschatology, a major characteristic of which is generally formulated as the bifurcation of the post-mortal person into two separate numina. While the existence of such a representation among the locals is not to be contested, questions were raised as to the historical status of kelelungan as a "spirit of the intellectual faculties" and, as a corollary, of bifurcation as such. Overall, four major eschatological models may be distinguished and are summarized as follows (leaving aside the issue of juus):
    Life                              Death

1   Living person     [right arrow]   liau

2   Living person     [right arrow]   liau

3   Living person     [right arrow]   liau
                      [right arrow]   kelelungan

4   Living person     [right arrow]   liau
    with kelelungan   [right arrow]   kelelungan

    Secondary Treatment          Occurrence

1   [right arrow]   (liau)       mostly outside
                                 Greater Luangan

2   [right arrow]   kelelungan   Lawangan, Dusun

3   [right arrow]   liau         Bentiaatn, Benuaq,
    [right arrow]   kelelungan   Teweh Luangan

4   [right arrow]   liau         Benuaq (modern)
    [right arrow]   kelelungan

A major insight of this table is that kelelungan undoubtedly stands as the unstable aspect of Greater Luangan eschatologies. The above successive stages 1[right arrow]4 may well reflect its historical development in the area, but such a hypothesis requires a broader look into Greater Barito eschatologies, which is beyond the scope of this paper. However, the following remarks are due: Cognates of liau are found in all of Kalimantan's major Barito groups and throughout the Greater Luangan area. Also, the older ethnographic literature, briefly summarized in Stohr (1959: esp. 65), is surprisingly silent about the issue of kelelungan and its associated phenomena. It would seem, then, that the (1) "liau/Lumut complex" is older than the (2) "kelelungan/Tenangkai complex." Further, Greater Luangan literature testifies to the fact that the term kelelungan refers primarily to the post-mortal as 'ancestral being,' while the Benuaq's application of the term to the 'ancestor skull' would seem to be pointing towards the origin of the concept. However, as this usage has so far only been detected among the Benuaq, I am cautious as to this suggestion. Still, the realm of human mortality is definitely the conceptual area where its history began, which again implies that, in the course of time, it was slowly pulled in the opposite direction of man's life-course to finally become a constituent of the living person.

The "kelelungan/Tenangkai complex" seems to mirror the process of local transition towards an ideology of benevolent spirits of the dead and ancestors. It needs to be remembered that:

The metamorphosis of a dream ego into a benevolent spirit of the dead is not universal. In societies with a nomadic, hunter-gatherer background it usually becomes malevolent at the point of death.... [i]t is considered to be perilous. Hence it is to be feared and avoided, and thus cannot attain the status of an ancestral spirit ... In societies with a settled agricultural background the dream ego, after a period of emotional instability, is as a rule benevolent, perpetuating the personality of its human counterpart and being regarded as a continuing member of the ... local community, to whom one can turn (Kaser 2014:217).

True, the alleged transition of the Greater Luangan (and other Barito) communities from a (more) nomadic to a settled agricultural lifestyle is still being debated (see e.g. Weinstock 1983:145, Sillander 2004:45-46 and Venz 2013a:549-550, on Hindu-Javanese/ Malay traces in Benuaq rice myths) and will not likely find straightforward answers. It will remain an issue of historical reconstruction and needs more than archeological research, which is, unfortunately, absent in the region. Fortunately, another promising pathway towards local economic histories can be found in the comparative science of religion and mythology, which has gathered plenty of evidence for the interrelatedness of a people's worldview with its economic, and, hence, socio-political conditions. Using such tools, Benuaq animism clearly reflects aspects characteristic of both types of economies and their associated form of animism and it is above all in this intermediate form of animism that much of the diversity and contradiction of Benuaq eschatology resides (see Venz 2013a:624, 2013b:255).

The transition towards a stronger recognition of benevolent spirits of the dead and ancestors implies several cultural adjustments as regards (1) the treatment of the corpse, (2) the outfit of mortuary rites, (3) the representation of post-mortals and (4) the notion of final abodes. Stohr's (1959) pioneering culture-historical examination of mortuary rites and associated customs observed many differences in such practices and beliefs in Borneo in general and also among the Barito societies in particular. His classification of modes of disposal of the corpse among the latter communities is especially interesting: While some groups practice simple burial or secondary burials (or secondary treatments of the dead), only Greater Luangan groups (he mentioned the Dusun and Lawangan) are characterized by an elaborate multi-staged funeral ritual with "special disposal of the skull" (Ger. Sonderbestattung der Schadel). (26) That is, even within the confines of what Stohr (1959:84) called the "Ma'anyan-Lawangan" complex, only a few groups have been reported to (have) adhere(d) to such specialized practice, which we also find, of course, among the Benuaq. Consequently, Stohr (1959) favored the following view: "The distinctive special disposal of the skull among the Lawangan and Dusun probably does not represent the original form; rather one has to consider it as a product of a long, isolated development process." (27)

Indeed, the desire to keep the (dream ego of the) deceased nearby as a future "ancestor" naturally leads to methods of preservation of the deceased's corpse through mummifying, embalming, or desiccation. And, in fact, the older literature clearly points to mummification as an earlier practice in several parts of the Ma'anyan-Lawangan area (see Stohr 1959). In such cases, the corpse was preserved as a unit and one term to reference the "(ancestral) spirit of the dead" would appear to be sufficient. However, if preservation methods could not be employed, it would have been enough to "retain the skull or larynx and store them in a worthy place in order to keep the dream ego close by" (Kaser 2014:209). The Benuaq and their neighbors obviously chose the skull and it is not surprising that, in several of these groups, we find a corresponding terminological representation of the deceased. That is, the corpse of the deceased is not (ritually) treated as a unit and, hence, there is no simple lineal progression of the deceased, neither conceptually, nor linguistically. Rather, a specialized term for "ancestor/ancestral skull" would join the ordinary term for the "spirit of the dead," giving rise to two constituents (or bifurcation) of the deceased, which would have to be disposed of separately and, potentially, also at different places.

Ancestors require an abode that is higher than the Mountain of the ordinary dead, a place like heaven. Hence, besides Saikng Lumut as the abode of the liau, the "culture of the skull" demands yet another abode for the kelelurtgan, called Tenukng Tenangkai or 'Tenangkai Plateau.' Much has been written about Saikng Lumut, lit. 'Moss Mountain,' which is located at the headwaters of Central Kalimantan's Mea River, lit. 'Red river' (Weinstock 1983:42-43). (28) However, less is known about Tenukng Tenangkai. (29) Massing (1983:90) says it is "a mountain whose location varies according to the different Benuaq areas. Thus, for the Pahu Benuaq it is Mount Renajas on the upper Tuang." According to some of Sillander's (2012:98) informants of the upper Teweh, it is to be found "on an invisible mountain located between Mount Lumut and the nearby Peyuyan mountain, or on the latter itself." Weinstock (1983:30), like many other authors, also describes Tenangkai as an "abstract place in heaven, but the heaven of man's cosmos." Indeed, "sky, animistically understood, is not something beyond the blue firmament, but ... a phenomenon inside this world," and, in addition, presents "a favorite residence of benevolent spirit beings" (Kaser 2014:59, 126). The Benuaq's own ritual idiom portrays the internal structure of Tenukng Tenangkai as a graded sky as well, while the abode itself is referred to as a plateau, hence, mediating the gap between mountain and sky. The Benuaq myths (said to originate in the upper Teweh), again, have both abodes connected by the Mea River, fig. 'River of Blood,' as it is said to have "... its source in the region of Lumut ... and its mouth at Tenangkai" (Hopes 1997:62). Mythology's message is perfectly clear: Death flows back into life, mirroring humanity's post-mortal career, which I will turn to in a moment.

Interestingly, the abodes also seem to be related to two of the most important personages of Benuaq mythology, namely Kilip and Aji. Kilip Taman Tauq, the "Father of Knowledge," is the culture hero per se; he stands for the positive characteristics of human nature, is diligent and intelligent as well as the source of all kinds of cultural innovations, while Aji represents the opposite. Likewise, there is a clear association in Benuaq culture between Aji and death on the one hand, and Kilip and life, on the other. The villages of Kilip und Aji bear the names Tenukng Renayaas and Tanyukng Lahukng, respectively, and I may add the following: Weinstock (1983:72) once noted that: "[T]he Luangan trace their ancestry to a mystical place known as Neten Pali... Most important of the rivers in this region are two tributaries of the Teweh River--the Mea River, at the headwaters of which lies the sacred mountain of the dead, and the Luang River, whence came the tribal name." He further suggests "it was while living in this region that the people developed a tribal level of sociocultural integration and identity out of what was probably previously only family bands of hunters and gathers." According to Sillander's (2004:42) Bentiaatn, Neten Pali "is unambiguously the name of the first ancestral village in Luangan mythology, said to be located at the headwaters of the Telakei River, in the interior of Pasir (its more precise location, which is haunted by ancestral spirits, is actually between the heads of three rivers: the Telakei, Kendilo, and Tuung, a tributary of the Teweh)." Nothing else is known about Neten Pali. However, it seems reasonable to relate it to the mythological village of Mempeetn Paliq Jawa Solaai, which is the ritual title of Tanyukng Lahukng. In turn, Massing's "Mount Renajas" definitely refers to Tenukng Renayaas, better known as Beremauq Siwo Ore, the village led by Kilip. It seems, then, that one more missing piece of the mythological puzzle has been found: Saikng Lumut connects to Aji, while Tenukng Tenangkai connects to Kilip (see also Venz 2012:354, 579), who, by the way, is also responsible for the introduction of funerary rites.

Now, turning to the Benuaq's belief as to what happens to a person after death, the following synopsis may serve as a summary. To begin with, the Benuaq concept of man is dichotomic, i.e., the major constituents of a living person are (1) unuk 'body' and (2) juus 'spirit double,' 'dream ego,' 'second ego,' or 'self.' Upon death, a person disintegrates and his former components undergo a process of metamorphosis, which is also reflected terminologically: The body 'decomposes' (moraas) into a 'corpse' (bangkay) and the disembodied spirit double 'changes' (waliu) to a liau, which generally retains the 'shape' (;umakng) of the formerly 'integral person' (senarikng). (30) While the transformation of the body is physical, the transformation of the latter is mainly in its SEIC, i.e. in its personality. The liau, due to its separation from its fonner body, which caused it general invisibility and, consequently, a loss of personality (see also Middleton 1982:151), has turned into an emotionally unstable being. Hence, the liau may be said to represent the de-individualized dream ego (see Kaser 2014:213), i.e. the dead person as part of the large community of what we would call "spirits" and the Benuaq call esaaq yaq beau diiaatn 'invisible beings' and esaaq yaq aweeq unuk 'body-less beings. 'While the corpse decomposes, it is considered as rotten, impure, and sickening, and, as regards its SEIC, nervous, deceiving, and hostile, even silly and dumb. The deceased is now a malevolent being, which the Benuaq characterize simply as daat 'bad.' In brief, he is a liminal being or, as Bapak Ramid put it, male jadiq 'not yet ready, incomplete or unripe.'

The liau, longing for its former body, often lingers around the grave and haunts the village, until it is properly installed on Saikng Lumut. The afterworldly life of the liau depends (1) on the progression made in the multi-stage mortuary ritual, (2) on the kind and number of animals sacrificed, and (3) on the type of sarcophagus provided by his family. These 3 factors combine to form 14 different ways of treatment of the deceased and, consequently, Saikng Lumut is said to consist of 14 "levels," while Tenangkai is said to have only 6. Thus, when a parepm api (primary burial) is performed with a simple burial of the corporal remains in a wooden coffin (lungun), the liau will dwell at Melinaakng (31) Dataai, lit. 'Grave of the low-lying land,' while the kelelungan will dwell in Langit Benayataakng, a title which seems to refer to the grave as well. But, as the skull of the deceased is not yet available, his kelelungan is, as yet, of no ritual or religious relevance.

With the passage of time, and depending on the status of the deceased as well as the financial capabilities of his family, more elaborate stages of the mortuary ritual may be performed, e.g. a pekintuh, pekintuh kerryau or kenyau, but this is not obligatory. At the kenyau, the corpse is transferred to a more precious tomb-hut, thus permitting the liau and kelelungan of the deceased "to reach higher levels" of their "abodes." In principle, the corpse could already be exhumed at this stage and the following of Massing's (1981: 90-91) observations would apply: "Both bones and head are ... wrapped in cloth and stored in one of the funerary urns (antang or guci). For the ordinary dead, the latter are then buried in the ground or placed in one of the mortuary chambers (rinak) which belong to the family in the cemetery. The bones of manti or penggawa members are stored in more valuable antangs and kept in the house of the family or with the kepala adat until the kwangkei ceremony." However, the exhumation of the corpse at a kenyau seems to have been rare. And, more importantly, there is still not much sign of any efficacy of the deceased's kelelungan. The dead still tends, so to speak, towards liau-ness.

The performance of a kuangkay (fe-pref + bangkay)32 is the decisive moment for the deceased, as it is at this stage that a final treatment of his 'corpse' (bangkay) is effected, which puts an end to his prior instability. His skeletal body is exhumed and turned into 'clean bones' (aning tulaakng). More importantly, his 'skull' (utak) is made available, brought into the longhouse to be placed in the selimaat, which, by the way, forms the base of a ritual tree representing the putaakng tree \Shorea spec.', i.e. the "tree of life" of Benuaq mythology. After the kuangkay has come full circle (tangaai) and the deceased has been led on his strenuous journey over into the afterlife, the deceased ('s skull) is perceived to be Ho 'cleaned, purified,'33 34 whence the term kelelioM 'the clean one,' as a synonym or semantic reduplication of kelelungan. As the deceased has now completed all of his rites of passage and with his personality restored through the final treatment of his skull, his SEIC is well-disposed and conciliatory. He is now a benevolent being, which the Benuaq characterize simply as bueeq 'good' and, as Bapak Ramid put it, epuuq jadiq 'ready, complete or ripe.'

The remains of the deceased may now be moved into a kererekng, a tempelaaq or even a templaaq patiq 'ironwood sarcophagus on one pile with antaakng,' which allows the liau to climb up to the top of the 'Moss Mountain,' called Usuk Bawo Meno. Conversely, the deceased's kelelungan is said to have reached Tenangkai Solaai, also known as Teluyatn Tangkir Langit Benuaang Tingir Layaakng. Those persons again, who during their life possessed special status (e.g. shamans, mantiq etc.), will climb up to its top, called Usuk Tenangkai Solaai. The skull of such individuals may now be put into a skull box and stored in the longhouse attic. It is now a ritually significant object (pengentuhuuq), an "altar," which serves the longhouse community to mediate contact (beteruhuuq) with its heavenly guardians (see Venz 2013a:344-368). Two points are of tremendous importance: First, the notion of "Tenangkai" is inseparably linked to the performance of the kuangkay ceremony. Secondly, the progress of a deceased towards becoming a benevolent being clearly mirrors the progress in the ritual transformation of his skull during the multi-staged mortuary ritual. Here, I may also point to my earlier comment on the relation between the terms "Tenangkai" and tangaai (Venz 2013b:252) and, by way of suggesting a possible conclusion, repeat an earlier question of Mallinckrodt's (1925:405): "So we see among the Lawangans the bone ossuary like heaven, is it too far-fetched, then, to regard the skull or the bones, which are so well suited to serve as a medium, themselves as heaven?" (35)

If the principle of dualism is a pervasive symbolism in Bornean religions in general (see King 1993:232-233), then the Greater Luangan "culture of skulls" has surely reinforced this principle in the realm of eschatology. However, dualism also "involves the union of the two aspects" (King 1993) and Weinstock (1983:24) was clearly a proponent of a monistic reading of Luangan cosmology. At least some Benuaq ritual specialists, such as Bapak Ramid and his followers, would approve of this. According to them, the two "abodes" form as much a unit or oneness (eraai 'one') of the above and the below as the skull (above) and the rest of the skeleton (below) form a corpse and so it is, finally, with the "bifurcated soul." In this view, the two "spirits of the dead" appear more as a hierarchically-defined unity, rather than an oppositionally-defined duality. Indeed, a particular deceased would never be referred to by the term kelelungan, let alone by the term liau, but could be referred to (rarely, in ritual contexts) by the composite expression liau kelelungan mate X, while the short form mate X 'the late X' is definitely the default choice in daily talk. However, the collective expression tuhaaq nahaaq 'elders' is, as Madrah (2011:61) put it, rather a "nickname" for the kelelungan, which is all very reasonable, as they indeed reflect such status.

Here, I come to the question of the function of the major secondary ceremony in the process of creating "ancestors" (see also Venz 2013b:252). A kuangkay obviously turns a deceased into a "benevolent elder." But is he also given the status of "ancestor"? It is clear that the mortuary ritual treats ordinary individuals and those of special status differently. It is the privilege of the latter to enjoy the most valuable tomb monuments and, consequently, the highest throne in afterlife. And it is all above their skulls, which allow for mediation. According to anthropological literature, then, they would best fit the definition of "ancestral spirits in the accepted sense" (Kaser 2014:130, ref. Roser 2000:48). Indeed, among the Central Luangan, such individuals would undoubtedly be called pengirikng "protecting spirits" (see Hermans 2011 and Sillander 2004, 2012). However, among the Benuaq, this issue remains dubious, as the ethnographic interview unfolds different opinions, even among religious specialists. According to some, a kuangkay automatically instills a deceased with the capacity for influence and mediation. Others restrict the function of pengirikng to the social elite of Usuk Tenangkai Solai; thus, mirroring the situation among the Central Luangan. Some sources, however, report that it is only the mythological guardians, i.e. the kelelungan nahaaq, of Tenukng Mentararatn, the topmost level of Tenukng Tenangkai, which qualify as pengirikng (see e.g. Lahajir et al. 2006:149)!36 The question of who is in charge of the Benuaq cosmos, then, leads us back to issues of religious change and, more specifically, requires us to take a deeper look at notions of "guardians" in Greater Luangan animism.

The Benuaq "culture of the skull" is largely an issue of the past. According to informants, kuangkay ceremonies were seemingly rare occasions in earlier times. They were performed only once or twice in a decade, mostly as a combined effort of several families due to the high cost of the ceremony. It is also safe to say that they were performed only after the decomposition of the deceaseds' corpses. Kuangkay ceremonies were obviously not restricted to the social elite, but it is reasonable to assume that many ordinary dead would have had to be satisfied with a primary burial. This situation has changed: The Benuaq are no longer stratified and with financial support provided by the local government, kuangkay are now more frequent than ever. In addition, the primary and secondary burial are nowadays often combined as one performance, in order to save time and money. That is, today kuangkay are almost always performed right after death, and, as Sillander observed with respect to the Bentiaatn, long before decomposition and exhumation of the corpse and, most importantly, the availability of the deceased's skull.

In sum, there are many reasons to step away from a simple view of bifurcation in Benuaq eschatology. While the ritual democratization of modern times creates much opportunity for post-mortal purification (even without skulls), it may well be that many dead remained 'unripe' in the past. Again, the assertion that the kelelungan have religious relevance prior to the performance of the kuangkay ceremony is controversial, and their existence prior to death, a reflection of modern religious transformation. Finally, framing the "twins" as a hierarchically-defined unity, as favored in this paper, also accommodates the view of the kelelungan as the final representation of the juus (dream ego). An interesting question to be investigated further concerns the alleged capacity of the kelelungan to "be reincarnated in newborn children," a belief complex of which Massing (1981:3) seems to be the only author so far. However, while modern Benuaq eschatology would rather have the kelelungan go to God, they may well have entered a cycle of palingenesis.


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(1) I am indebted to Clifford and Louise Sather, Dorte Futch and Ferra Fusfita for comments on earlier versions of this paper. Austronesian reconstructions are taken from the Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, web edition Robert Blust and Stephen Trussel 2010: revision 3/15/2015. Sanskrit forms are taken from de Casparis (1997). Abbreviations used: BI = Bahasa Indonesia, Skt = Sanskrit, Arb = Arabic, Bnq = Benuaq, Bnt = Bentian.

(2) Comprehensive discussions of the category "Luangan" and the different Luangan subgroups can be found in Sillander (2004:32-38, in English) and Venz (2013a:55-71, in German). In addition, Herrmans (2011:25) introduced the term "Central Luangan" for "an area that approximately stretches from Benangin on the middle reaches of the Teweh river in the province of Central Kalimantan, to Dilang Puti on the middle reaches of the Lawa river in the province of East Kalimantan" and "mostly consist of upper Teweh Taboyans (Tewoyans) and Bentians." As an extension of it, she uses the label "Greater Luangan" (2011:21) for those culturally related groups who live further away from this center, such as the Benuaq, Bawo, Lawangan and other Taboyan. The label "Greater Luangan" roughly corresponds to Hudson's (1967) linguistically defined "Northeast Barito" of the Eastern branch of his Barito language family. According to Blust (2005, also 2013:736), the Barito family's three coordinate branches (Barito-Mahakam, West Barito and East Barito) and the Sama-Bajaw languages of the Philippines form a larger "Greater Barito" group.

(3) A case in point is their relation to the nayuq (or Bentian naiyu). In a recent review, Gueirrero (2013:167) noted two conflicting interpretations as to the relation between these numina and the kelelungan found in Sillander (2012:76-81) and Payne (2012:336-339). One more interpretation can be found in Venz (2013a:459-69, 2013b:251).

(4) "Jadiq aser yaq ohooq kelelungan ohooq, yaq ohooq juus senarikng yaq epuuq mate, jadiq aman senarikng eso bolupm uhaq naan juus mo unuk uhaq, jadiq aman uhaq epuuq mate, unuk uhaq aro moraas, jadiq yaq isiq daya jadiq liau uyaat jadiq liau buluq balo jadiq liau, jadiq juus uhaq jadiq kelelungan..."

(5) "Juus yang telah meninggalkan unuk berubah nama dan disebut liyau dan kelelungan. Di kalangan masyarakat Dayak Tunjung Benuaq, liyau dianggap sebagai roh tenaga yang berasal dari anggota badan di bawah kepala. Dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, liyau sangat tabu untuk disebutkan, karena ia cenderung bersifat pengganggu. Sedangkan kelelungan dianggap sebagai roh fikiran atau rasio, yang berasal dari anggota badan bagian kepala. Kelelungan cenderung bersifat baik bahkan dapat menjadi perantara manusia dalam hubungan dengan nayuq timang."

(6) "Setelah manusia mati jiwanya terbagi dua pula, yaitu: jiwa tubuh disebut liyaw dan jiwa tengkorak disebut kelalungan. Walaupun begitu, bukan berarti kedua jiwa tersebut itu berwujud setengah-tengah, akan tetapi tetap utuh."

(7) "Nach dem Glauben der Benuaq verwandeln sich mit dem Tod die Juus-Seelen des lebenden Korpers (vgl. also Hopes et al. 1997:187, Massing 1982:61) in zwei unsterbliche Seelen: Liau (Liaaw), die mit dem Korper (Leichnam) assoziiert wird. und Kelelungan, die mit dem Intellekt (Schadel) in Verbindung gebracht wird. Beide unsterbliche Seelen werden als Roh (ind. = Seele) bezeichnet."

(8) "roh klelungaan [...] menurut kepercayaan suku Dayak Benua' terdapat di kepala manusia, yang berasal dari nafas yang ditiupkan oleh "Seniang Perjadi'" ke atas ubun-ubun "Tamarikukng" dan "ApE Bungan Tanaa'" pada waktu penciptaan manusia pertama."

(9) Hudson (1967:70, 84) glosses 'head' for Barito-Mahakam and the West Barito isolects as follows: Tunjung, Dohoi, Murung, Siang kuhung, Kapuas, Katingan takuluk, Ba'amang tokolo' and for East Barito isolects: Dusun Witu, Ma'anyan, Samihim ulu', Paku olu'.

(10) Keriring diyan yeq mna utok "keriring gunanya tempat tengkorak."

(11) "yang dimaksud dengan selimat adalah rumah-rumahan yang penuh ukiran motif khusus untuk para arwah tempat meletakkan tengkorak (kelulungan) selama upacara Kewangkey."

(12) "pekili kelelungan yang bermakna menurunkan roh kelelungan (tengkorak)."

(13) "Kelelungan memiliki dua pengertian yaitu 1) tengkorak yang didapat sebagai hasil pergi berperang (mengayau) dan disimpan serta digunakan sebagai peralatan upacara, dan 2) tengkorak nenek moyang yang mempunyai pengaruh dan berwibawa pada masa hidupnya (bangsawan). Kelelungan tidak dikubur bersama tulang dari bagian tubuh lainnya, melainkan disimpan oleh anak cucunya karena dianggap mempunyai kekuatan gaib dan membawa keberuntungan."

(14) "Fragt man: "was ist amiroe oder roh?" so zieht der Dajak die Schultem. Bisweilen bekam ich zur Antwort: "Amiroe ist djiwa (Leben, Lebensstoff?) oder amiroe ist Schattenbild oder auch: es ist unser kaukalingan = Spiegelbild; wir wissen, dass es besteht, konnen es aber nicht befuhlen."

(15) Kaser (2014:163) gives the following explanation: "The reason why the term for a person's reflection, shadow and dream ego (including spirit double of objects) is the same is because they reveal two features in common: their non-corporeality and their recognizable form in relation to the objects and beings which cause them. Despite that, they are understood in different ways."

(16) See Kahler (1949), Prentice (1971), Bender (1976-81) and Odango (2013) for discussions of the prefix in specific geographic areas.

(17) "Semantic contagion" refers to the extension of *qali/*kali-morphology to new semantic categories based on perceived resemblance (see Blust 2001:42-43).

(18) Other variants, such as sele- < PMP *sali-, will not be discussed in this paper.

(19) The difference among kele/kere- words in Benuaq as to their morphological and semantic transparency is most probably a reflection of the age of these words.

(20) See Payne (2012:341) for a similar structure of the Benuaq, which he gives as longaan jejar.

(21) Elsewhere in the text Sillander (2004:102-103) adds that the longan was located "[i]n some part of the middle section of those lou."

(22) "[E]s hatte dort jemand nach iiberstandener langandauemder Krankheit versprochen, alien Gottem zu opfem, und weil man bei den Dajak--vor allem denen in West-Dusun--manchmal behaupten hort, die Erde und die Luft bestehe aus 7 lapis Oder Etagen, stellt unser Buntok-Mann ein Bambusgeriist her--ein lungan bulau oder Goldfeld jedoch--mit 8 Etagen, aus Furcht, einen Himmel zu ubergehen."

(23) Of course, Blust (2001:36) himself was well aware of the fact that "analytic error may sometimes create the appearance of an *qali/kali- prefix where none exists." While writing this paper, I took note of a different treatment of this lexeme in Lobel's (for SIL) newly-revised 3rd edition of McKaughan & Macaraya's A Maranao Dictionary (2012), where it is, together with palililang 'comforter', malilang 'frequent, often,' salilang 'entertain,' and kalilang 'carnival; feast' analyzed as a derivative of a base lilang 'sweetheart; lover; wife; to entertain.'

(24) Another interesting tenn for "altar" is Bidayuh sirangan, glossed by Nais (1988): "1. Food offering place in a basket for evil spirit. (N) 2. Plaited bamboo for an offering to spirit. (N) 3. Frame work of any structure (as that for kite, etc) 4. A stand or rack with handle (as that for vinegar or other seasoning for table use. (N) 5. Lath bamboo (as that in cross-shape) N. 6. Bamboo altar for an offering to evil spirits. (N) i. Sikud sirangan = A stick used in divination, ii. Sirangan umuh = An offering offered to spirits in padi-field so to keep them away from the farm. iii. Sirangan sadis = Primitive altar used by Dayaks for offering sacrifices or offering or for performing magic rites in rice-field etc." The meaning of the verbal form, nyirangan, is given as follows: "1. Immolate (V) 2. Kill as a sacrifice (V) 3. To offer propitiatory offerings to evil spirits (V). i. Nyirangan umuh = To offer sacrific on padi farm so to appease the spirits."

(25) "Der erste balian balanciert den Schadel zunachst einige Minuten in der Hand [...], und legt ihn dann indie"kleine balai". Wenn alle Schadel drinnensind,... drehendie Manner die "kleine balat...]. Dann lasst man plotzlich los, und die adiau in den Schadeln erfahren ... einen rasenden Rundtanz."

(26) See Zahorka's (2013:208-209) recent critique on this issue.

(27) Auch die ausgepragte Sonderbestattung des Schadels bei den Lawangan und Dusun reprasentiert wohl nicht die urspriingliche Bestattungsform, sondem man muss sie als ein Produkt eines langen, isolierten Entwicklungsvorganges betrachten."

(28) Interestingly, "moss" itself provides a symbol for the past: In their d Comprehensive Indonesian-English Dictionary, Stevens and Schmidgall-Tellings (2010) give the following meanings of lumutan (= lumut 'moss' + -an) "I mossy, moss-grown. 2(J) (to have lived/worked/studied, etc.) for a very long time, to have been (in some place) for ages and ages. ... 4 (Jv) grown gray...." Also, in German, the expression Moos ansetzen, 'to become covered with moss or moss-grown' is figurative for "to become hoary with age."

(29) Weinstock (1983:125-126) suggested a link between the abode of Tenangkai and the setangkai movement of Ampah, which came about in the mid-1900s as a millenarian reaction against the Dutch colonial resettlement program for the Luangan (from the Luang River to more accessible areas in the Teweh, Ayuh, and Ampah region) and against "the 1910 ordinance forcing the Luangan to form nucleated villages": "Limited to Ampah, setangkai originated in one extended family and does not appear to have spread beyond this group. Initiated after a series of reportedly strange occurrences--houses shaking, odd dreams, etc.--the setangkai sect centers on the ancestral worship of the two original settlers of the Ampah region, Brohong and his grandson Mangkujaya. A special house, the Rumah Keramat Brohang, has been erected to house the skulls of the two men. Annually on the first of July, the family holds a small celebration to honor these ancestors. At other times of the year the skulls will be rubbed with coconut oil and ceremonially offered food and flowers when family members are ill or have strange dreams. ... the sect's name, setangkai, which seems to be a cognate of tenangkai, the abstract heaven where the refined soul resides ... indicates possible millenarian undertones to the setangkai sect..."

(30) But again, some informants do not accept an identification of juus with liau.

(31) The ritual term melinaakng is said to refer to the grave. See also BI: melinang 'to drip, fall in drops (of tears etc.)' and linangan in ~ airmata 'tears; weeping.'

(32) ke- + bangkay (-b- > -w-) > kewangkay (-ew- > -u-) > kuangkay.

(33) see also Herrmans (2011: 40) and Sillander (2012: 65).

(34) See also aning kelelio ro lit. 'The very clean ones of the old' used mostly for the mythological kelelungan.

(35) We zien dus bij de Lawangans het knekelhuis als hemel, is het dan te ver gezocht, den schedel of de beenderen zelve als hemel te beschouwen, die daardoor zoo uitermate geschikt zijn om als medium te dienen. De Boekit Loemoet als oorsprongsland en dus voorzien van talrijke graven, is dan geworden tot de verpersoonlijking der gestorvenen, immers daar liggen de beenderen der oerstamvaders."

(36) see also Payne (2012:336-337).

Oliver Venz

Faculty of Social Science

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

94300 Kota Samarahan

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