November 18, 2015

Sibu Tales : Chopping of chicken Head in Temple


Have you ever heard of two women going to a temple to end a dispute by ordering a chopping off of  chicken head?




How did this practice originate among the Chinese? It was held fairly frequently in Sibu, at the various temples when I was a child.

There is a historical origin of this practice.

It was Qing legal system whi enabled both plaintiff and defendant to make a promise in the temple and write it along with a curse or punishment on a piece of yellow paper. Then they killed a chicken, chopped off its head, let its blood drip onto the  paper and burned the paper.

It was believed that because the promise was made before the gods, if an untruth had been told by one of the parties concerned, he/she would suffer the indicated punishment. 
Many Chinese were very willing to Chop of Chicken Heads at the temple....and also they did not trust the British Legal System of Sarawak then.
Quite often we hear of women asking for chopping off chicken headswhen they wanted justice to be done.

 That was as good as saying that they had told the truth, or that they wanted fair hearing of their case.

So if I tell you that I have told you the truth and you don't believe me, I would lead you to the temple, with a chicken under my arms, and then chop off its head...rather brutal isn't it? But it does prove a point.

Go figure it out....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ya, it was common in the old days, esp among the illiterate Chinese!