THE CULTURE AN CUSTOM OF THE MAH MERI COMMUNITY BIRTH: WHILE IN PREGNANCY
The Mah Meri people is a small Malaysian Orang Asli community and they are the original people of this country. Officially the Orang Asli are divided into three big tribes that are the Negrito, the Senoi and the Original Malay. The Negrito and Senoi are classified into six small tribes while the Original Malay into seven small tribes.
Due to the presence of various tribes within the Mah Meri community, therefore there are many differences in the aspects of way of life and the dialects used. Their culture and custom too differs and has its own uniqueness. The following custom shows that are practiced within the Mah Meri community as a whole.
BIRTH: WHILE IN PREGNANCY
A pregnant Mah Meri woman, particularly from the Original Malay tribe, books a midwife that will help the pregnant woman during delivery. When the pregnancy reaches seven months the midwife needs to perform the shaking of the abdomen custom by incantating the pregnant woman with the aim to discard any evil spirit and other disturbances. This custom is also important to ensure the baby is in its proper position so as to ease the delivery process. Normally this custom is followed by a reception.
There are many absentisms that need to be abided by a pregnant women, that are:
It is forbidden to laugh at animals especially monkeys as the baby facial feature and behaviour might copy that of the said animal.
It is forbidden to consume red-coloured fish as this might cause huge loss of blood during delivery.
It is forbidden to work during dawn and dusk as the baby might looks like unenergetic as his soul has been disturbed.
It is forbidden to nail wood in the afternoon as both mother and baby might fall sick or die.