Rampant lightning strikes targeting loggers on Borneo island mark the beginning of the battles of creatures in Borneo rainforest, a home shared by millions of physical and spiritual creatures. With the forest disappearing in an alarming rate over the decades because of human activities, the antu raya, spiritual creatures who have the power to control lightning, decide to take desperate measures to save the rainforest from humans. The rippling effects of their actions lead Panggau warriors into battles against other creatures on the land and in the sky. As much as they love their peaceful life in the sky after they have forgone the land centuries ago, they, too, have to fight for their home and their survival.
When Lightning Strikes is the first book of The Return of Panggau Warriors - a series of fantasy novels that depicts the world of Borneo rainforest according to Iban mythology. It brings the characters from the ancient Iban myth to the present day environmental issues.
Total Number of Pages: 294
The Return of Panggau Warriors Series was written with one main objective: to introduce the long forgotten traditional Iban cultural heritage to the readers worldwide.
There was a time when the Panggau Warriors, the Iban’s cultural heroes, were inseparable from the life of the Ibans, one of the indigenous groups in Sarawak, Borneo. The shift from traditional to modern life style has reduced their roles, and any other beliefs related to them, from being practiced daily to being kept in library archives.
The archives, quite comprehensive and well-recorded, are not the ideal source of distribution of this knowledge to the general public. The archives are intended only for a small group of readers. For instance: many of these documents were written in the old Iban language, so those who do not know the old language cannot understand them; or they were written by academic researchers and published in academic journals, so those who are not academicians have no reason to read them; or they were kept in the library’s restricted section, so the general public do not have access to them.
The writer of the Series, Oktavia Nurtjahja, is determined to widen the scope of the readers. Therefore, she goes to various library archives, get hold of the old Iban language records and research journals to collect the information. Then, she rewrites her findings in a completely new format - one that she feels is more accessible to the general readers. The products come out in the form of fantasy novels in English language that tell new stories about the Panggau Warriors, who still hold on to their traditional beliefs and values, and how they live at the present time to deal with the environmental issues in Borneo island.
It is her goal that this new way of distributing knowledge gains wider acceptance among the general readers so that the invaluable Iban cultural heritage will be kept alive in the memories of the present generation and the generations to come.
Oktavia Nurtjahja first went to Borneo island in 2001 to work in Sarawak, where she got to know the people of the land and the rainforest. She met and married Keling, who introduced her to the world of Iban tradition, mythology, and legends.
Growing up in a multicultural country like Indonesia, she has always been fascinated by the various local myths, folklores and legends. And as her work as an English lecturer at one of the universities in Sarawak required her to access library archives, the Borneo Studies section soon became her new favorite site to visit.
She is now a stay-at-home mom, known by many as Indai Sampurai, or mother of Sampurai.