According to Taib Osman, in the Malay cosmology, 1. Dunia is inhabited by Man, animals, plants, objects, spirits; 2. Pusat Tasik Pauh Janggi is inhabited by Nagas, Jins, Garudas; 3. Kayangan is inhabited by Dewa, Perman; 4. Dasar Laut is inhabited by Raja Lebis. Further, according to Anker Rentse, Syurga sits above the Pokok Pauh Janggi, while Neraka lies below it. It is from below the Dasar Laut, from hell’s boiling-pot or the kawah nufaka, that rises the swirl of the Pusat Tasek. A gigantic hole between the roots causes the ocean water to disappear into the boiling-pot. A dragon guards this hole that serves as the pintu Neraka. Its body also blocks the hole, preventing the ocean from running dry. In the Pusat Tasek an account is kept of the good and the bad deeds of every human being in the world.
The combined downward spiral of the Pusat Tasek and the upward thrust of the enormous Pokok Pauh Janggi combine to create an axis of Malay Ontology or cosmos. Anker Rentse explains, from ethnographic notes that seem to have been made in Ulu Kelantan“Shurga, Heaven, is on the top of Pauh Janggi, and Nuraka, Hell, is down below its roots. A gigantic hole between the roots causes the ocean water to disappear into hell’s big boiling-pot, kawah nufaka , whence the whirl-pool. Underneath the pot burns everlasting fire. A dragon guards the hole, the gate to hell ( pintu nuraka) with its body in order to prevent the ocean from running dry. In Pusat Tasek an account is kept of the good and the bad deeds of every human being in the world. The accountant in Heaven is Ka’ Tebir, and in Hell, Kiraman. The last one is said to be so busy on occasions, that he gets angry, throws his pen on the floor and declares, Ini sekarang sudah chukup!”
The Dari Pusat Tasek exhibition will run at Percha Artspace, Lumut Waterfront, till 19 JAN 2020 Photographs of the Lumut performance will go towards making the 13th series of the Koboi Project tentatively titled Badan Aku Tubuh Negara. The draft of this work can be viewed at https://koboibalikkampung.wixsite.com/sialjambalang
The Koboi Project exhibition and performance titled Dari Pusat Tasek will open at the Percha Art Space in Lumut on 25th Dec 2019. There will be an impromptu street performance, carried out as part of this exhibition, based on the malay myth of the ‘navel of the seas’ or the pusat tasik pauh janggi. The combined downward spiral of the Pusat Tasek and the upward thrust of the enormous Pokok Pauh Janggi combine to create an axis of the world, one that analogous with the Tiang Seri of the traditional Malay House. In the Malay Ontology or cosmos – 1. Dunia is inhabited by Man, animals, plants, objects, spirits; 2. Pusat Tasik Pauh Janggi is inhabited by Nagas, Jins, Garudas; 3. Padang Jauh dan Puncak Gunung is inhabited by Giants, jins; 4. Pulau Buah is inhabited by Ancestral spirits; 5. Kayangan is inhabited by Dewa, Perman; 6. Dasar Laut is inhabited by Raja Lebis.
The Pusat Tasik Pauh Janggi appears to exemplify more general Southeast Asian structural and relational principles in which – 1. The Navel of the Seas drains the waters of the world; 2. A submarine tree or world pillar at the navel links the human realm to both the underworld and the skyworld; 3. There are mythic creatures dwelling at the navel of the seas at the base of the tree or pillar; 4. The ebb and flow of tides are due to the movements of the creature blocking the drain at the navel; 5; The ocean currents are due to water flowing in and out of the drain at the navel; 6. Earthquakes are caused by creature at navel of the sea shaking the world pillar; 7. There are relationship between these flows to the movement of the Sun and Moon and events like eclipses; 8. Rising sea levels and flooding are associated with the navel of the sea.