HANAYAN. For our Ethnic Tuesday, the National Museum of the Philippines – Western-Southern Mindanao features its National Ethnographic Collection of ‘hanayan,’ used in Sama Dilaut traditional rituals.
Like other ethnolinguistic groups, the Sama Dilaut has numerous and multifaceted ceremonies. They also have a spirit medium called a “wali-jin” or “djin,” which can be both men and women. The djin wears unique clothes—-for men, they wear green trousers with a white blouse and turban, while women wear a yellow sarong and green blouse. The djin can commune directly with the supernatural through dreams and trance.
In general, the purpose of their rituals is to drive away an evil spirit that causes illness, suffering, death, misfortune, and conflict. They also give thanks to the good spirits for a bountiful catch and pray to preserve and prolong their lives.
In preparation for curing ceremonies, they use incense or coal placed in a small white bowl or a coconut shell, a green coconut, a glass or glasses of water, a bowl of cooked or uncooked rice, and betel nut (now often replaced with cigarettes). These objects are all placed at the center of the mat as an offering. They believe that the coconut and water are gifts from heaven, while rice is the spirits’ favorite food.
When the djin lights the incense, the ceremony begins. They perform the ceremony in front of the hanayan. Hanayan is an ornately decorated bar hung on the interior of houseboats or houses. It is three to five feet long, painted in green, yellow, blue, or whites, and associated with ancestral spirits. Having a hanayan is an indication that there is a djin living in the household.