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ETHNOMYMS: Ata Nuha, Ata Nusa, Ata Pulo, Hata Lu'a, Hata Rua, Orang Palu'e


Identification. Throughout the Lesser Sunda Islands the people of Palu'e (Palu) Island are usually referred to by the Indonesian term "Orang Palu'e." When referring to themselves as one people they call themselves "Hata Lu'a" (people of Lu'a). Various ethnic groups of the neighboring Flores Island employ the general vernacular term for "islander." Thus, in coastal Ngada they are called "Ata Nusa," in Sika, "Hata Pulo," and in Tana 'Ai, "Ata Nuha." The people of coastal Lio call them "Ata Rua." On sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Portuguese maps, the island is listed variously as Ilha de Nuca Raja, Lusa Raja, Rusa Raja, Lucaraje, and Illusartaia. Dutch designations include a number of variations of the name "Palu'e" (Paloeweh, Pulowe, Palu, Palue), a name possibly traceable to palu-palu, the Bugis term meaning "a conically shaped headdress." The official Indonesian designation is "Pulau Palue."

Location. Palu'e is located some 15 kilometers off the north coast of Flores at 8° 19 S and 121° 44 E. The conically shaped and nearly circular island extends over 72 square kilometers. It rises gradually from the north shore and drops sharply to the sea in the south, forming the mountain Manu Nai (875 meters) and the adjoining volcano of Rokatenda. The people of Palu'e refer to the mountain as "Ili" and to the volcano as "Mutu." Periodic volcanic activity has marked mainly the southern part of the island. Throughout the island, along the lines of volcanic fissures, there are fumaroles and solfataras. Deep erosive ravines run down all sides of the mountain to the sea, creating steeply inclined ridges. Remains of primary forest are found at higher locations and in several isolated patches. Most of the secondary tree coverage has been removed for agricultural purposes. Apart from two minor springs on the western mountain slopes, there is no surface water on Palu'e. The island is part of the arid tropics. There are clearly demarcated dry and rainy seasons. The latter lasts from the month of December through March. There is an average annual rainfall of 180 centimeters.

Demography. The total population is about 14,000, some 2,500 of whom have recently been transmigrated to coastal locations on central Flores. Small groups have also established coastal settlements on several of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The population density is approximately 180 persons per square kilometer. Because of volcanic activity, about one-third of the island's surface is not suitable for settlement or agriculture.

Linguistic Affiliation. The people of Palu'e speak their own distinct language, called Sara Lu'a. It is classified as a member of the Bima-Sumba Group, which belongs to the Central Malayo-Polynesian Branch of the Austronesian Language Family. Its use is confined to the island. In every one of the twelve traditional domains of Palu'e a mutually intelligible but different dialectical variation of Sara Lu'a is spoken.

History and Cultural Relations

In 1511-1512, after the seizure of Malacca, Afonso de Albuquerque sent out a fleet to discover the Moluccas. On their way along the Flores north coast the Portuguese ships passed Palu'e. A panoramic drawing was made by the pilot Francisco Rodrigues, picturing the island against the background of Flores. In their mythology, all groups of the island ultimately trace their origins to a place located far away in the west. The final stages of these myths are concerned with the crossing from the Lio region on the Flores north coast. To this day, these groups honor long-standing alliances in warfare with a number of ethnic groups of central and east Flores. In some cases they retain rights to land use and ritual sites on Flores. In a document dated 1699, the raja of Gowa in South Sulawesi claimed supremacy over the island and stated his intention to reinforce this claim by means of warfare. It is doubtful whether this claim was ever upheld. The lack of drinking water on Palu'e was first noted by the Scotsman Cameron, who visited the island briefly in 1860. Cameron also mentioned the islanders' reputation among the neighboring islands as boatbuilders (Palu'e boats were commonly exchanged for guns and ivory tusks). Nineteenth-century sources mention the island in the context of piracy and slave trade. Palu'e boats were said to be raiding the Flores Sea and well-armed Bugis vessels. Ancestral treasures on Palu'e are often associated with these past activities and ties with Bugis groups of the kingdom of Bone on Sulawesi are still recognized. Toward the end of the century the Dutch military staged several unsuccessful punitive expeditions against coastal villages. In 1906 the island was pacified with the help of an indigenous coastal group and forced to accept the supremacy of the raja of Sika, the Dutch-appointed indigenous ruler of Maumere Regency on Flores. A succession of Sikkanese relatives of the raja became his representatives on the island. They held the title of kapitan and were charged with collecting a head tax and enforcing communal labor. Later holders of this office were recruited from the above-mentioned coastal group and educated by the Catholic mission (Society of the Divine Word, or SVD) on Flores. Only in some cases were members of descent groups holding traditional political offices appointed as village headmen. In 1928 the volcano Rokatenda erupted, killing several hundred people and devastating large parts of the island. In the eyes of the people this eruption had been caused by Dutch attempts to dig for water on the island. Missionary activity by the Flores-based SVD mission began in the first quarter of the century and was mainly aimed at collectively baptizing the population and educating future native administrators and religious instructors. In 1938 the mission established a permanent presence on the island, which was only interrupted during the period of Japanese occupation (1942-1945). During nearly forty years, schooling and medical care were provided by the SVD. At present, approximately 90 percent of the population is nominally Catholic. Schooling and medical care are now provided by Indonesian government agencies, and the two Palu'e parishes are run by priests of the Indonesian Catholic church. In 1966 Palu'e adopted the desa system, whereby groups of traditional villages were united into administrative units (desa). With few exceptions these followed the boundaries of traditional domains, but in some cases the traditional system of political alliance was crosscut by grouping together long-standing enemies. Administratively, Palu'e is now classified as a subdistrict (perwakilan ) and incorporated into the district (kecamatan ) of Maumere on Flores. Its remoteness from the administrative center, periodic volcanic eruptions of various intensities, and the notorious lack of water have, for the last thirty years, made the people of Palu'e a target for transmigration to Flores. Since 1982 these efforts by the provincial government have been partially successful, and transmigration settlements have been established on the Flores north coast. To date only one desa has been moved to its new location.


There are approximately 40 villages (nata ) on Palu'e, varying in size from 30 to 500 people. Villages are connected to the administrative center by a network of footpaths. Because of interdomain warfare, slave raids, and piracy, villages were traditionally fortified and positioned on easily defensible ridges at higher locations. In successive stages of settlement, they have generally been moved from higher to lower locations. Coastal villages have been built only by more recently settled population groups. There are two types of village: main villages, where houses are typically oriented around a central ritual courtyard, and subsidiary villages, where mainly topographic and demographic factors dictate the settlement pattern. Traditional houses consist of rectangular wooden structures elevated on pillars. The interior sleeping and cooking chamber and the surrounding bamboo sitting platforms are covered by a high conical elephant-grass thatched roof reaching to the ground. The high roof also serves as storage space for harvest goods. Modern houses, termed rumah sehat (healthy houses) are rectangular bamboo structures built on the bare ground and covered by a pitched coconut-palmfrond thatched roof. Increasingly, cemented stone and brick houses with corrugated iron roofs are being built.


Subsistence and Commercial Activities. The people of Palu'e are traditionally shifting horticulturalists growing various types of tuber, mung beans, and maize as well as a number of minor crops. Land shortages induced by population pressures have caused rotation cycles to be reduced from five years to one year. In many cases they have given way to permanent cultivation. An ancestral proscription against the growing of rice is strictly enforced throughout the island. The sale of surplus harvest goodscoconut, tamarind, candlenut, betel pepper, areca nut, fruits (mango, banana), bamboo, and palm-leaf productsin local markets and in markets on Flores is subject to ceremonial restrictions. Domestic animals include goats, sheep, dogs, and poultry. Pigs are kept for purposes of ceremonial exchange and sacrifice. Offshore fishing is conducted by means of traps, poison, lines, spears, and bows and arrows. Bomb fishing by coastal groups has in recent times greatly reduced the fish population. Because of the lack of surface water, banana trunks, bamboo, and a number of trees are tapped for water. In some locations volcanic steam is trapped in earth catchments and condensed in bamboo poles. Rainwater tanks are beginning to replace the traditional ways of water collection during the rainy season. Volcanic spots with high ground temperature are used as earth ovens for the preparation of various types of bean and tuber. Throughout the island the lontar palm (Borassus flabellifer or B. sundaica ) is tapped twice daily and is the most important source of fluid. An islandwide ancestral prohibition on the distillation of palm juice is observed.

Most men on Palu'e are seasonal migrants. At the beginning of the dry season they take their boats to various locations along the Flores north coast and establish temporary settlements from which they return home periodically. The rainy season is spent back on Palu'e. Their occupations are occasional and include agricultural labor, construction of houses, logging, fishing, and trading.

Industrial Arts. The construction of boats used to be an important source of wealth. Boats are built on the mountain and ceremonially dragged down to the shore. The scarcity of trees now limits boat construction. Tie-dyed textiles and baskets woven from lontar-palm leaves are sold at markets on Flores.

Trade. Goods include livestock, fish, rice, textiles, and various commodities. Trade routes follow the major weekly markets on Flores.

Division of Labor. Major agricultural work, such as the initial clearing of fields and the threshing of mung beans, is shared by men and women. Planting, harvesting, and tending of the fields are done by women. Allocation of harvest goods is the domain of women. Livestock are raised and fed by women; the disposition of animals, however, is the domain of men. Traditionally women never left the island but increasing numbers of women now go to Flores to attend secondary schools. Construction of boats, dwellings, and fishtraps, palm-juice tapping, and harvesting of coconuts are exclusively male pursuits.

Land Tenure. Titles to arable land are patrilineally inherited and are held by the male members of a minimal descent group. Allocation of rights to land use by the father favors the firstborn male sibling. Female members are allocated land but relinquish their rights after marriage. Dowry can be converted into land and titles may be transferred to wife-taking groups. Land can be bought and sold as well as pawned in lieu of legal fines. Boundary disputes between domains are an important cause of warfare. Increasingly, titles are registered with the district administration. Titles to communal land and village grounds are nominally held by the priest-leader. As first-settling groups, descent groups of priest-leaders usually claim the largest number of titles to land within a given domain. Other descent groups were initially assigned land by them and hold roughly the same number of titles. Individual strategies of acquisition can alter this situation significantly. The size of holdings varies greatly according to domain affiliation.


Kin Groups and Descent. Society on Palu'e is housebased in that individual houses, nua, constitute the localized minimal descent groups. A nua is mostly coincident with the physical structure of a house. Membership in a house is acquired by way of patrilineal descent or adoption. Members share a set of ancestral names, privileges and obligations, ritual offices, and access to land and resources, as well as ritual prohibitions. The core of larger groups, kunu (coconut husk), is constituted by houses tracing descent to common ancestors. The kunu can, however, also incorporate houses of different ancestral origin. Genealogical knowledge generally does not extend over more than two to three generations.

Kinship Terminology. The relationship terminology is neither clearly lineal nor cognatic, but shows mixed characteristics.

Marriage and Family

Marriage. Marriage is effected by the exchange of goods following extensive formal negotiations. The wife-taking group (hata wedda, "sister people") exchanges conceptually male goods (pigs, ivory tusks, golden ear pendants, money) with the wife-giving group (hata naja, "brother people") for conceptually female goods (harvest goods, household goods, textiles, ivory arm rings, ancestral beads, or land). Payments by wife takers are effected in three major stages. The schedule of payment varies according to domain. Obligations for support in everyday life and ceremonial exchange between wife-giving and wife-taking groups remain binding over a minimal period of two generations. The groups involved are primarily of the spouse's natal house and to the houses of its kunu. Additionally, there are throughout the island individual houses of quasi-consanguineal kin status (huju-bako, "bundle and heap") who traditionally assist in payment of goods. If a given house lacks marriageable women, the daughters of huju-bako houses can act as classificatory substitutes. For the purposes of a specific marriage, another kunu of the same domain may also contribute to the payments. This form of assistance is always reciprocated and can lead to lasting ties. Kunu fission can occur when individual houses repeatedly do not contribute to a given marriage. Such houses may fuse with a different kunu on the basis of repeated contributions to its marriages. Matrilateral cross-cousin marriage, termed "marriage of the afterbirth" (wai kuni-laja ), is traditionally prescribed. Under Catholic and local government pressure the prescribed categories have become partially classified together with a proscribed category, which includes siblings and parallel cousins. Matrilateral cross-cousin marriage can now only be contracted after a lapse of a minimum of two generations. Marriage is kunu-exogamous and mostly domain-endogamous. A given kunu usually has a number of wife-giving kunu. Every three to four generations, the direction of alliance is reversed. Polygyny is permitted but infrequent. Divorce is mostly initiated by the husband and effected by returning the wife to her parents. In some cases part of the bride-price is then returned to the wife-taking group. The frequency of divorce is low. Postmarital residence is patrilocal. As long as no goods have been exchanged, the groom resides with the parents of the bride. In such cases children are affiliated with their mother's natal house.

Domestic Unit. A given house (nua) may shelter parents, several married male siblings and their spouses and children as well as any unmarried siblings. A nua averages five to six persons. A married male sibling, his spouse, and their unmarried children constitute a separate "hearth" (labo ). Food and most resources are shared by the members of one labo. In cases where a labo has been established for several generations, ritual activities of the house may be carried out separately by each labo. Scarceness of living space can lead to the construction of a separate though ritually dependent dwelling.

Inheritance. Inheritance is predominantly patrilineal. In the transference of tangible and intangible property from father to sons, the firstborn son is generally favored. Objects associated with one gender can be passed on to others of the same gender. Objects related to agricultural magic are handed down matrilineally upon completion of bride-wealth payments.

Socialization. On the third day after childbirth the mother ceremonially presents the infant to the village community. The child is given an ancestral name and is ritually incorporated into the house by cutting the forelock and reciting prohibitions and qualities specific to the house and to the child's gender. During the ceremony a child of the opposite sex and, depending on its gender, a member of a traditional wife-giving or wife-taking group, is symbolically married to it. Subsequent stages of socialization are not ceremonially marked but occur gradually and informally. For young men an important threshold toward adulthood is crossed at the age of 12 to 15 years by participating for the first time in seasonal migration. A similar threshold for women is represented by the informal allocation of a garden at the age of 5 to 7 years. In the past these thresholds were crossed at a more advanced age and were marked by the wearing of a first loincloth.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. Society on Palu'e is stratified in that there exist three categories of houses (nua): houses from which priest-leaders are recruited, houses of commoners, and houses of slave descent. Members of the first category are referred to as "father-people," as opposed to members of the latter two categories, who are referred to as "child-people." "Father-people" claim to represent the first settlers who cleared the land. They hold most of the major ritual offices. Within the group (kunu) of houses of this category, one house assumes a traditional position of seniority (hata ka'é, elder sibling). It is from this house that the priest-leader, lakimosa, is recruited. Strictly speaking, all male members of the "father-people" can be called "lakimosa" (strong man); in practice only the most senior member is addressed by this title. The kunu referred to as "child-people" represent subsequently settled groups. Among these there is no clear-cut order based on precedence in settlement; rather, individual actions and events determine differences in their status. One house within each group assumes the senior position. It is this house that is prominent in ritual and is the guardian of kunu-specific ancestral treasures. Houses of slave descent have in recent times become absorbed into the category of commoners. Within each domain there are two separate kunu of the "father-people" category, one of which is of lesser status. In some domains this lesser kunu has regressed to a position of such inferiority that it no longer lays claim to "father-people" status. In most domains one commoner house has managed by way of marriage strategies to achieve an elevated position of influence. It is then referred to as "mother-people." In some cases this position is maintained by the normally prohibited practice of sister exchange with a house of "father-people" status.

Political Organization. The twelve traditional domains (tana ) on Palu'e constitute ceremonial, political, and territorial entities. They can be divided into two categories according to the practice of different ceremonial systems. The seven tana practicing the offering of water-buffalo are referred to as tana laja karapau, "domains of water-buffalo blood." The five domains lacking the water-buffalo sacrifice are called tana laja wawi, "domains of pig blood," in reference to their main sacrificial animals. All domains on Palu'e are linked by a system of political cum ritual alliance and enmity that crosscuts the adherence to one or the other form of sacrifice. Alliances between domains are often reinforced by huju-bako relationships between the houses of the respective priest-leaders. Each domain classifies its traditional allies in warfare according to their size and strength as either conceptually male or female, thereby implying a position of relative superiority or inferiority. The population of a domain varies from 300 to 1,500 people; its size ranges from 2 square kilometers to 16 square kilometers. Only in recent times have efforts been made to stabilize boundaries by means of cement markers. Traditionally the territory of a domain is defined by a set of place-names, but boundaries are periodically renegotiated through warfare. The firstborn son of the senior house of the leading kunu of "father people" in a domain is usually appointed to the position of lakimosa. He is the traditional ritual, political, and juridical head of the domain. As such he receives, as a form of tax, part of the harvest of commoner houses as well as specific cuts of animals sacrificed in the domain. In most domains the former obligation no longer applies. The appointment to lakimosa status is made by the preceding lakimosa at the moment of his death and is subject to confirmation by the traditional allies of the domain. In those cases where a second kunu of "father-people" successfully upholds claims to full lakimosa status, separate spheres of influence and separate ritual centers are maintained. Ceremonial cycles are synchronized and in decisions affecting the whole of the domain the leading lakimosa takes precedence. In most cases traditional political authority is entirely delegated to him.

Social Control. At the most general level the concept of hada encompasses the totality of ancestral knowledge. It stands for the correct way of doing things. The content of hada is transmitted orally from parents to children and from grandparents to grandchildren. Much of hada is encoded in a poetic form of ritual speech. Knowledge of the parts of hada related to domain-specific ritual and to warfare is restricted to the lakimosa. He is the guardian of hada for all of the domain, as firstborn sons are the guardians of hada for their respective houses. Breaches of hada are considered offensive to the ancestors and to the Supreme Being and members of an offender's house will eventually incur misfortune or even death. In many cases fear of these supernatural sanctions will drive offenders to admit breaches to the lakimosa and plead for his mediation with the Supreme Being by way of ritual and sacrifice. In precolonial days all breaches of customary law were adjudicated by the lakimosa. Traditional sanctions are codified and range from fines in goods to corporal punishment, including the death penalty. Since the establishment of regency courts on Flores only minor offenses such as theft, extramarital affairs, land disputes, and slander of reputation are adjudicated by the lakimosa. Sentences are established in consultation with local government representatives and in accordance with the norms of customary law. Sentences can be appealed in government courts at district and regency level.

Conflict. Boundary disputes are the most important source of conflict in that they present a major potential for escalation. Within a domain disputes over boundaries between fields are ultimately dealt with by various forms of divine ordeal under the auspices of the lakimosa. Disputes over boundaries between domains generally lead to warfare. Leadership in warfare rests with the lakimosa but may be delegated to skilled warriors. In most domains it is a stipulation of hada to go to war with the traditional enemy at intervals of five years. An auspicious moment for warfare is after the completion of the ceremonial cycle, when offerings to the Supreme Being have been laid out along the domain's boundaries. War is fought by men who use flintlock guns, bows and arrows, spears, and bush knives. Women participate by throwing stones and insulting the enemy. A truce between the priest-leaders involved is usually arrived at after both sides have suffered some minor casualties. Recent battles have often been aborted prematurely by the arrival of military forces from Flores. Boundary disputes are then temporarily settled in district courts.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. The mythology of most water-buffalo-sacrificing groups contains an account of the voyage of an ancestral pair coming from the far west and arriving at the present location of the island. Their boat carried the "stone and earth," a metaphor for the island, which grew to become Palu'e. These first ancestors brought along all knowledge of hada. In another myth of origin, seven boats traveled together. During the voyage the boats containing rice and water went astray and this accounts for their lack on Palu'e. The universe is layered, with seven levels constituting the terrestrial realm and eight levels making up the firmament. One myth recounts how the ties between the skies and the island became severed. In ritual terms, Palu'e is imagined as a living body with streams of blood circulating beneath the surface, the seaboard representing its "feet" and the mountain its "head." One abode of the ancestors is inside the volcano, where the island, with all of its domains, is replicated. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are met with the exclamation "We are here!" in order to remind the mythical animals on whose back the island rests of the existence of human beings. Lunar eclipses are caused by the morning star spearing the moon. In analogy to the growing "stone-and-earth" motif, every domain has as its ritual centers two monolithic structures (tupu ) that are increased in size with every ceremonial cycle. The tupu is the place where the priest-leader can, by way of ritual and offering, establish contact with the first ancestors and with the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being stands at the origin of everything and is referred to as "SunMoon/Stone-Earth" (era-wula/watu-tana ). There are several categories of supernatural being: nonpersonified spirits associated with specific places such as trees or rocks (nitu ), and named personified spirits associated with natural phenomena such as rain and drought. By far the widest range of spirits dwells outside the island and incorporates both indigenous concepts and those from outside groups. The human soul has essentially two aspects, one that remains with the body until death and another, referred to as the "shadow-soul," which can leave the body during its lifetime and take on a number of human and animal disguises. It is this soul that the witch employs for his flight. Dogs bark at disguised witches, thereby providing the means for differentiation between these and other types of supernatural beings. Ancestral spirits that have not been able to leave the island are of a similar type.

Religious Practitioners. The efficacy of a practitioner ultimately depends on his relationship with the Supreme Being. As priest-leader, the lakimosa can establish the closest relationship to era-wula/watu-tana within his domain. Because of his close affinity with the sun and the moon, the life of a lakimosa is endangered during a total eclipse. The ritual activities performed by him and, by way of delegation, by members of his descent group, ensure the well-being of all of the domain. He is the guardian of the entrance to the ritual center and, as such, he controls access to the Supreme Being. The healer-sorcerer (hata pisa ) can act only with his consent. With the help of his ancestral auxiliary spirits, the hata pisa can contact the realm of spirits and ancestors and locate and manipulate the cause of illness and misfortune befalling individuals or houses. These faculties also allow the hata pisa to assist the lakimosa in domain-specific ceremonies. The acquisition of the powers of a healer-sorcerer involves a period of illness or mental disturbance in the hata pisa's youth. This is rarely followed by a formal apprenticeship. In most cases the healer-sorcerer is male. Payment of his fees (livestock, ivory, golden ear pendants, money, land) is ensured by his capacity to cause harm. Most hata pisa are also considered to be witches (hata nutu ), male or female individuals whose "shadow-soul" has the capacity to fly by night and enter people's dreams in order to cause harm. Witches can be expelled from a domain or taken to court for such activities. Minor practitioners include members of houses who hold special skills ascribed to named ancestors (e.g., influencing rain and wind, healing specific afflictions, and finding lost or stolen objects) and those who possess magical qualities related to agriculture, fishing, boat building, dyeing, food preparation, warfare, and navigation.

Ceremonies. The theme of ritual heat and coolness pervades Palu'e ritual and ceremonial life. All new things are hot, breaches and mistakes of hada create heat, and the general accumulation of negative influences generates heat. Such heat is noxious to human beings and needs to be cooled down regularly by way of ritual. The cooling agent is mostly coconut milk. All ritual cooling is accompanied by an offering of food and/or blood. Blood offerings are ranked according to ritual potency in the following order: water buffalo, pig, chicken, dog. Most ceremonial events involve the exchange of goods. Not all domains practice the sacrifice of water buffalo. A domain can also lose its capacity to do so if attempts to raise sacrificial animals have repeatedly been unsuccessful. The ritual cycle extends over a period of five years, beginning with the ceremonial purchase of yearlings from allies on Flores and ending with the sacrifice at the ritual centers of the domain. Several years of prohibition on the construction of boats and houses and on the export of harvest goods follow the sacrifice. The number of animals sacrificed varies between domains. The water-buffalo sacrifice is essentially the prerogative of the kunu of priest-leaders. It ensures the welfare of the domain and establishes its prestige by acting as host to other domains of the island, and specifically to its allies. The water-buffalo sacrifice and the ceremonial inauguration of boats make up a category termed kua ca, "large ceremonial events." Both employ similar texts recounting the myth of origin and involve the presence of other domains. All other ceremonies are termed kua lo'o, "small ceremonial events." This category includes the inauguration of houses, life-cycle rituals, healing rituals, rituals connected with fishing, and the rituals of the agricultural cycle. Every major stage of the agricultural cycle is initiated by the lakimosa on a ceremonial field and is followed by a ritually marked period of restriction on agricultural activities. In all domains the kua lo'o are essentially the same. In recent times the "domains of pig blood" have increased the scale of a ritual aimed at controlling the population of rats in an attempt to match the prestige of the "large ceremonial events" of the "domains of water-buffalo blood."

Arts. Graphic and plastic arts are restricted to tie-dyed textiles, decorated objects for everyday use, and carved and decorated implements for ceremonial use. The creation of chants during ceremonial dances is a major means of artistic expression. Chants are accompanied by three gongs and two drums. Musical instruments include the bamboo zither, Jew's harp, flute, tambourine, and ukulele.

Medicine. Relief from minor afflictions is sought by applying the common but limited knowledge of medicinal properties of herbs. Afflictions such as skin disease, intestinal worms, or toothache can be successfully dealt with by minor practitioners. Illness is generally caused by breaches of hada or witchcraft. In cases of severe illness the priest-leader mediates between the individual and his ancestors by way of ritual and the sacrifice of a pig. The sacrificial animal takes on the illness and is consumed by all members of the domain. In the last instance the help of the healer-sorcerer is enlisted. Knowledge of the ways of the healer-sorcerer is secret.

Death and Afterlife. Death occurs when the soul leaves the body through the fontanel. The body is wrapped in textiles provided by wife givers, and wife takers place golden ear pendants in its mouth. The deceased is buried in the vicinity of the house on the same day. The body is interred in a pit in reclining position with the feet pointing toward the rising sun. This orientation is reversed if death has been caused by an accident. A banana trunk can be substituted for a missing body. Personal belongings of the deceased are destroyed and disposed of in the direction of the setting sun. A general prohibition on agricultural labor is imposed throughout the domain for three days. A period of mourning of one year applies to members of the house of the deceased, entailing prohibitions pertaining to food, dress, agricultural labor, and general behavior. A widow of advanced age may be subject to prohibitions for the rest of her life. Prohibitions are announced on the third day after death, when the soul of the deceased has returned to the house. It is then sent off to commence its journey to the ancestral place of origin in the west. Elaborate secondary mortuary rituals entailing the setting of monoliths as points of communication with the deceased take place collectively for all of the deceased of a domain before the beginning of the final stages of the water-buffalo-sacrificing cycle. In some domains this is carried out separately by individual houses at any given time depending on the availability of harvest goods and livestock for ceremonial exchange. There are three conceptually interconnected abodes of the ancestors: the place of origin in the west; the inside of the volcano; and a banyan tree (Ficus benjamina ) on the moon, from which the ancestors can observe the doings of their descendants.


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