I am sure, most of us ever heard of Keling, the hero of Panggau Libau, and Kumang, his wife from
Gellong. I am sure too, alot of us have this question popped off our head, who are these people of Panggau-Gellong? Gods huh?
No, they weren’t Gods, but people with special power, above ordinary human like you and me, or I can simply put them this way – Angels.
Intermediate between humankind and the petara in the sky is a third major category of supernatural, the Orang Panggau.
These are the heroes and heroines of the mythic Panggau-Gellong world. Their domain is said to lie between the visible world and the sky. Thus in myth and ritual liturgy, those who journey to visit the gods and goddesses frequently pass through the Panggau-Gellong world to make their way to the homes of the petara.
Like the gods, these heroes and heroines possess supernatural powers and are believe to be capable of metamorphosis. Being great mythical heroes, they are credited with exemplary physical ability, beauty, creativity, skills in craftsmanship and other attributes of humankind.
They are, for example, the patrons of women weavers and male warriors. Their prowess is the subject of vast oral epic literature among the Iban society. Like the gods and goddesses, the Orang Panggau are beneficent and acts in ways that further human purposes and this makes them the invisible intermediaries.
During major Gawai festivals, they represent the gawai sponsor in inviting, welcoming and entertain the gods and goddesses whom the human bards have called down from the sky to bless and participate, unseen, in the ritual work of the Gawai.