There are many Indonesian traditions related to the gestation period of a mother. Most of these traditions aim to expect protection from God to protect the mother and child. In West Papua, the ceremony for pregnant women is called Morus Tere.
The tribe that carries out this tradition is called Mey Brat, one of the tribes that occupy an area shaped like a bird’s head in the western part of the map of Papua.
What is Morus Tere?
The name morus tere may be foreign to you, so you are curious about morus meaning or morus tere meaning. Morus tere comes from two words, morus and tere. “Morus” means to let go, while “tere” means bracelet.
Both words are figurative, and the real meaning is the process of liberating pregnant women and babies in the womb from the influence of supernatural forces in the surrounding environment.
Bracelet is one of the decorations that is often used by the people of Mey Brat for hand and foot decoration. The bracelet symbolizes a disturbing magical power.
The parable of this bracelet is that it can interfere with blood circulation in humans when the person who wears it increases in size or weight. So as not to bother anymore.
This ceremony is usually only done once for a woman’s pregnancy, even now, this custom is starting to be rarely held in every pregnancy, except for the pregnancy of the first child.
The people of May Brat believe that pregnant women and the babies in their wombs will become targets of supernatural and evil forces. This power can disturb the mother and child.
Apart from spirits or invisible beings who come from the surrounding environment, supernatural beings that want to be avoided from this ceremony are the behavior of humans who are not good. Examples are verbal abuse, swearing, and anger towards the mother and child. These words are termed “hot mouth”.
This hot mouth usually occurs when there is a problem with the family of a pregnant woman. Bad words from that person are then considered to have supernatural powers.
The term for supernatural power that comes from swearing is fitog, while for supernatural powers that come from swearing and spitting is called premises moon.
So that pregnant women do not suffer from these supernatural powers, such as heavy bleeding, miscarriage, abnormal children, or having other disorders, the family will hold Morus Tere or what is often also called Mach Tere.
Morus Tere Ceremony Process
There is no standard on when to hold the morus tere ceremony, so it all depends on the family holding the event.
But in general, usually, the family will hold the ceremony after believing that the woman is indeed pregnant. Local people confirm the pregnancy by observing physical signs, such as an enlarged belly and wide hips.
To determine the time of the ceremony, the parties who will negotiate are the organizer’s family.
This ceremony usually begins in the morning when the sun begins to appear. Local people believe that holding a ceremony at sunrise is the beginning of something new.
While the rays and the morning sun provide life for living things after going through cold air and night.
The husband’s family organized that ritual, so the event took place in the husband’s hometown. The ceremony is held in front of the husband’s family house so those present can see the traditional procession.
The decoration of the event venue is simple. That is because it only uses natural materials such as flowers and leaves. In addition there are also mats and seats for guests who attend.
As a form of affection and wanting to protect pregnant women and their children, the people of Mey Brat hold the Morus Tere ceremony. This ceremony is very sacred because it prevents the arrival of evil forces.