Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 2

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2 Beliefs and Rituals among the Urak Lawoi Sea Gypsies in the Bulon Archipelago, Satun Province

Authors: Srisuporn Piyaratanawong, Suchai Assawapantanakul

Abstract:

This study aims to reflect changes in beliefs and rituals among the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago of Satun Province that are related to changes of society according to each dimension of time. The historical study was conducted using an oral history approach. The study found that the traditional way of life as itinerants who moved seasonally resulted in their dependence on nature and beliefs in supernatural power, and mysterious powers and superstitions in the belief of ghosts, ancestors, guardian spirits, large banyan trees, life and living, treatment of diseases, king of nagas, and other beliefs. They displayed their respect to supernatural powers through rituals by worshiping, making offerings to spirits and performing Rongeng dance for spirits in return for fulfilling their vows. After World War II (1945), the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on Bulon archipelago changed their itinerant way of life to permanent settlements. However, their beliefs in supernatural powers and ritual performances remained in existence. Until 1987, when tourism began to spread to the archipelago, some of them gradually turned to make a living with tourism. Moreover, during the last 20 years (from around 1994), Islam has spread among the people. With this social context, the traditional beliefs in supernatural powers have changed to beliefs according to the religion and the way of life that has changed. Thus, when the traditional beliefs and rituals can no longer fulfil the new way of life, they slowly disappear, such as the floating the boat ceremony that has been replaced with new beliefs and rituals according to Islam. Nevertheless, some beliefs and rituals still exist, such as beliefs about treatment of diseases and Rongeng dance for spirits in return for vow fulfilling. In conclusion, the traditional beliefs and rituals of the Urak Lawoi sea gypsies on the Bulon archipelago cannot fulfil the new way of life, and have, thus, brought about changes in beliefs and rituals that are congruent with the current society.

Keywords: belief, ritual, Urak Lawoi, sea gypsy, Bulon Archipelago

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1 Musical Culture of Sea Gypsies in Bulon Archipelago

Authors: Rewadee Ungpho

Abstract:

The research on the musical culture of Sea Gypsies in Bulon archipelago, Satun Province, is considered as an anthropology research. Research objectives were to study the history and information culture and also to find the basis information for the restoration and preservation of the music culture of Sea Gypsies who live in Bulon archipelago. Findings of the research are as follows: 1) Musical characteristics of Sea Gypsies in Bulon archipelago is still traditional. It does not mix with any external musical influence such as musical instruments, language, and other musical characteristics. There are various kind of songs which can play a complete melody and rhythm, including a total of 8 songs as follows; Lagu-Ayam-Dide, Lagu-Sitipayong, Lagu-Bulong-pute, Lagu-Chemamat, Laguduwo, Lagu-Ma-I-nang, Lagu-Mana-Ikan. 2) The roles of culture/music in Bulon archipelago correlate with Urak Lawoi society. They use music in the ceremony of votive offering, in the floating ceremony held in Lipe Island and in various festivals. Therefore, music is a spiritual sacrifice and a spiritual instrument that conveys an Urak Lawoi, which makes the Urak Lawoi still unique and has a sense of ethnic identity. 3) The inheritance of Urak Lawoi music is still being made in a traditional way, as an oral tradition with no record. The teaching and learning must be one on one, and it required length of time to practice and accumulate the knowledge. Due to above mentioned reasons, a few people attend in the inheritance. Those who are interested may not be able to practice constantly. As a result, there is only a few, or even none, descendants left.

Keywords: Music, Ethnomusicology, sea gypsy, Bulon Archipelago

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