09 September 2011

The insect that can tell the weather

Of course it sounds ridiculous, but indigenous people have many nature-based ways of forecasting the weather- plants, insects etc. Last Hari Raya holiday, while visiting neighbours one morning, I saw an insect that looks like this outside somebody's door:

"Kotondu moti kaka ti do rumasam ko amu" (This insect can tell whether or not it will rain), my mom said to me. "Really?" I asked with great amusement. "Yes, ask it whether it would shine this afternoon. If it will, the insect will nod", my mom encouraged me confidently. Oh well. No harm in pleasing my mom. So I asked the bug this question aloud: "inda, magadau do baino?" (well, is it going to shine today?)

I waited for it to nod. Nothing happened. I asked louder. Still nothing happened. The bug kept still with its long feelers outstretched. I decided to ask one last time, just to please my mom who was looking expectantly. Making sure my pitch was twice as higher than before, I asked really loud "inda, magadau do baino!!!!?". Mom must have been shocked because she decided to come closer to have a look at the bug.

"Oh, actually I got the wrong insect. This is not Paku Ngadau (the supposedly clever bug name)", Mom declared as soon as she had had a better look at it! Ha ha...I'd been asking it a question for nothing. Luckily no one was around to witness the silly encounter :) But it was quite disappointing that I didn't get to test whether this particular indigenous belief was believable after all.


Uncle Lee said...

Hello Verone, I really enjoyed this posting. And yes, I have heard about a certain insect that can let us know about the weather.
Used to be in the jungles when my contractor told me.

Ha ha, I can imagine you talking to that insect and your mom realizing its the wrong one, arhaaaa ha h.

Kopivosian do doungdau. Gompizon no iso nozou di ginavo nu. Poimuhok ko daa tomoimo.

azamain said...

Insects ? first time from the dusun point of view that I know about this, interesting indeed. The four-legged critters esp cats, dogs maybe but the puny insects ? The cat at my house in Ranau will respond to voice call e.g calling its name at feeding time [anytime!].

Insects probably feel the vibrational effect of the sound we make i.e voice and it's really funny for you to test the belief and got it on the wrong fella ! :)) [ maybe the next one ].

Being nature people, there lots to learn from our own......:)

TataJane said...

hahaha...funny! I can imagine!

Verone said...

Uncle Lee- pounsikou no kopio! Osoosonong ko no daa do hino...(Thanks a lot. Hope you'll be ok there)
Azamain-I didn't even know about four-legged animals ability to tell the weather! All I know is that dogs howl to let us know that a spirit is passing by :) Indeed, a lot to learn.
Tata- LOL