1. Background

Lingga is an island and regency in Riau archipelago province. Its capital city is Daik. People often call it Daik-Lingga (the names of the island and capital city are fusioned). Its people are mostly Moslems, they speak Malay, and have Malay culture. In Malay culture, people still believe in animism (although it is opposed by Islam), that is why they still believe in genies, mambang, gods (deo), jerambang, jembalang (ghost of soil/ghost which lives in the ground), and bunian people. They believe that these creatures can bring both prosperity and misfortune. To avoid the unwanted (disaster, misfortune), they hold a ceremony.

The ceremony is called “basuh lantai”. Basuh means wash/clean and lantai means floor, so basuh lantai means “cleaning the floor”. The ceremony is closed to a life cycle, especially birth. Other than that, people of Daik-Lingga believe that the floor has an inhabitant. They treat it the way they treat human. Therefore, if blood, especially from a woman who is delivering a baby, drops on the floor, they must ‘clean‘ it by water, oil, powder, and comb it. Or else, it will disturb not only the midwife (Mak Bidan/ Mak Dukun), but also the mother and the baby (the baby will not stop crying or fall ill). To save the lives of the mother, the baby, and the midwife, they hold a ceremony. This ceremony is not merely held to avoid the disturbance, but also to thank God for the save delivery.

The ceremony is held when the baby is 44 days old. Before that, the baby cannot touch the ground. Before that too, a mother and her baby cannot leave the house. But if for some reason the mother must leave the house, she has to carry whether a kancip (the tool used to split betel nut), a knife, or a nail with garlic on its edge. Meanwhile, a knife, a nail, or a piece of iron in any shape must be put beside the baby. This is meant to keep evil spirit away from the baby.

Friday is the day to hold the ceremony because according to the local...