07/11/2012 - 07/11/2012
Welcome to Wologai village! (established 8 generations ago.)
We stumbled upon a ritual to initiate and place the cornerstone for the 8th traditional house in the ancestral village.
Sacrificial pig was bleeding to death and they were digging the hole in which to place the ritual objects, presided over by the first and second traditional elders. The second elder approached us, invited us to take photos and told us that we were very lucky to be there that day and witness this ritual as this was a very special day for the initiation of the 8th traditional house.
They placed a gold bead in a vial of white liquid and a live chick, which had been held by a traditional elder woman next to it in the hole. These were entombed with a flat stone which was then smeared with pig blood and blessed. The first elder was given a glass of arak, local firewater. He splashed some over his left shoulder, poured some on the stone, said a blessing, splashed more over his shoulder, then drank the rest of the glass. The second elder was then given a glass of arak and repeated this ritual. Numerous stones were then placed on top. The house cornerstone was then lifted by 8 men and placed on top of this.
Only traditional ritual persons can wear the traditional sarong and scarf.
We were then invited into the home of one of the village elders, which was one of the existing 7 traditional houses. We sat on the floor of the main room with the first and second elder and several other elders. The women gave us coffee and biscuits.
The second elder, who spoke surprisingly good English, then gave us a tour around the village to explain the different houses and let us take pictures.
In the middle of the houses was a special traditional kitchen used only for special occasions. This was where they were preparing and cooking the sacrificial pig. We were invited into another home, but had to decline as we had a long drive ahead to Riung.