Taboo no more, crocodile meat now delicacy for some Bidayuh

Pictures taken from the video of a Bidayuh man slaughtering a crocodile which has been going viral among the Bidayuh community.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 27: The taboo in the Bidayuh community against hunting and eating crocodile meat is becoming a thing of the past with some even considering crocodile meat a delicacy.

The taboo is rooted in a Bidayuh legend about a Bidayuh woman called Tayung Ngaring who met a crocodile in distress.

According to Temenggong Henry Sadok, the suffering reptile had a piece of wood stuck in its mouth and had a hard time removing it. As a result, the crocodile was unable to eat.

Tayung (meaning ‘grandma’ in Bidayuh) Ngaring took pity on the reptile. She promised to remove the piece of wood from the crocodile’s mouth on the condition that it would never attack, harm or prey on her people.

A covenant was struck between the woman and the crocodile from then onwards that the Bidayuh community would not hunt or kill crocodile while at the same time, crocodiles would not attack or eat the Bidayuh.

“The Bidayuh, when we go to the river, we will announce that we are the descendants of Tayung Ngaring and we will not be harmed by crocodile. This is our legend,” Henry told DayakDaily recently.

The tale of Tayung Ngaring and the crocodile is still told among the Bidayuh community but the taboo is not being held as strongly.

DayakDaily contacted Henry following a video which has been widely shared on social media of a man and a young girl, believed to be his family member, slaughtering a crocodile.

In the video, the man was seen talking about the huge size of the crocodile which he was cutting up and that some had called him to order a certain amount of crocodile meat.

A young girl was seen trying to scrape the skin of the crocodile whose tail had been removed and set aside.

Henry expressed his support for the Bidayuh moving away from the taboo over hunting and eating crocodile meat.

“In fact, there are some Bidayuh here in Serian who are licensed to kill crocodiles,” said Henry. — DayakDaily