Bahasa dan Identiti Penan Muslim di Kampung Tanjong Belipat, Niah: Satu Tinjauan Awal

The Language and Identity of the Penan Muslims in KampongTanjong Belipat, Niah: A Preliminary Study

  • Chong Shin Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Abstract

Artikel ini membincangkan etnik Penan Muslim yang tersebar di lembah Niah dan lembah Sungai Suai, bahagian Utara Sarawak. Mereka berasal daripada kaum Penan nomadik yang suatu ketika dulu tinggal di pedalaman Sarawak dan Kalimantan. Kira-kira pada awal abad ke-19, sekelompok kecil suku Penan telah berpindah ke kawasan persisir pantai dan memeluk agama Islam. Suku Penan Muslim yang tinggal di Kampung Tanjong Belipat adalah antara suku dalam kelompok ini. Setelah memeluk agama Islam, mereka bukan sahaja meninggalkan kebudayaan tradisi, tetapi juga bahasa ibunda mereka—bahasa Penan. Dari segi linguistik, bahasa Penan tergolong dalam subkelompok kepada cabang bahasa Kayan-Kenyah. Namun begitu, setelah beragama Islam, mereka memilih bahasa Bintulu, iaitu subkelompok lain dalam cabang bahasa Sarawak Utara. Kedua-dua bahasa ini adalah saling tidak memahami tanpa dipelajari. Faktor bertukar kepada bahasa yang berlainan cabang ini didorong oleh faktor keagamaan. Dalam erti kata lain, mereka inginkan “bahasa Muslim” yang melambangkan identiti agama Islam. Oleh sebab suku Bintulu merupakan satu-satunya suku yang beragama Islam di lembah sungai Niah, maka bahasa ini dipilih sebagai bahasa baharu setelah memperoleh identiti etnisiti baharu. Setelah memeluk agama Islam, Penan Muslim tampil dengan dua identiti yang kompleks dan subjektif. Hasil kajian mendapati bahawa komuniti ini tidak membawa identiti “Melayu” seperti kes kaum Melanau di Sarawak dan Dayak Muslim di Kalimantan Barat. Identiti “Melayu” hanya digunakan mengikut konteks dan dalam domain tertentu yang berkaitan dengan aspek ekonomi. Juga diperhatikan bahawa walaupun mereka taat pada identiti Penan, namun fenomena “masuk Melayu” semakin rancak berlaku hasil daripada perkahwinan campur antara Penan Muslim dengan suku Melayu.


Kata kunci: Penan, Penan Muslim, Islam, bahasa, identity, masuk Melayu


Abstract


This article discusses the Penan Muslim community, which lives scattered around the Niah and Suai river valley in the northern part of Sarawak. In the past, they were a nomadic tribe that settled the remote areas in Sarawak and Kalimantan. Since the 19th century, some moved to the coastal area and embraced Islam as the religion of their community. The Penan Muslims in Tanjong Belipat village are one such community. After converting to Islam, the Penan Muslims abandoned their old traditional beliefs and also their mother tongue, the Penan language. Linguistically, the Penan language belongs to the Kayan-Kenyah language subgroup. After they embraced Islam, they adopted the Bintulu language—another language from the subgroup of languages in Northern Sarawak—as their main language. The Penan and Bintulu languages are mutually unintelligible. This kind of inter-group language shifting has a relation to religion, i.e. the Penan chose a language which they felt symbolizes a Muslim identity. Since the Bintulu tribe was the only Muslim tribe in the Niah valley, their language was chosen by the Penan as they adopted a new ethnic identity. After converting to Islam, the Penan Muslim community seems to have faced two complex yet subjective identities. Although they were now Muslim, they did not identify themselves as “Malay” like the Melanaus of Sarawak or the Dayak Muslims of Kalimantan. The term “Malay” was only used in certain circumstances and domains that are related to the economy. It is also observed that although the Penan Muslims are loyal to the Penan identity, intermarriage between them and the Malays has accelerated the “masuk Melayu” (becoming Malay) phenomenon among the Penan Muslim community.
Keywords: Penan, Penan Muslims, Islam, language, identity, becoming Melayu


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Published
2020-01-03
How to Cite
SHIN, Chong. Bahasa dan Identiti Penan Muslim di Kampung Tanjong Belipat, Niah: Satu Tinjauan Awal. Melayu: Jurnal Antarabangsa Dunia Melayu, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 1, p. 63-82, jan. 2020. ISSN 2682-8049. Available at: <http://jurnal.dbp.my/index.php/Melayu/article/view/5042>. Date accessed: 09 july 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.37052/jm.13(1)no3.