Tales from the Fire: The Wizard’s Head at Ar-ar

May 10, 2011

Translation of story told at a gathering with natives around a campfire:

We went hunting for Wizards, because it was war.

We came upon (them) there in Fekes.

They were many, and only one was guarding, then we captured him, we took his staff.

He did not cry out, because we struck him with a piece of heavy wood.

So then we cut off his head, pierced his ears with a vine, and took it home.

They said, “Go and perform the kahcles ceremony, so that the spirit of the person you killed will be pacified, so that it will not come back to (afflict) you.

We performed the kahcles ceremony.

The next day, we each performed the se-wahc ceremony with a dog.

The next day also, we each (sacrificed) a pig.

We danced for the pig and the dog at our houses.

Now the old men said, “Have yourself tattooed, because you have killed someone.”

We got his jaw, and attached it on a gong (as a handle).

We called an Agnilak man to do the tattooing.

We paid him ten (coins?).

There were four of us who got that (Wizard).

His head is still at (the chief hut in) Ar-ar.

(Based on a story told by primitives in the jungles of the Philippines about killing a Japanese soldier during WW2)

2 Responses to “Tales from the Fire: The Wizard’s Head at Ar-ar”

  1. Alex Osias said

    Wow, it must be pretty difficult to kill people then (or maybe it’s just wizards). Dogs and pigs take a long time to raise.

    Maybe they just hunt down their offerings?

    At least there’s a ‘monetary’ deterrent to killing people, yeah?

  2. dpbrandt said

    Yeah, I never thought of it that way. Furthermore, any kind of meat was especially rare during the Japanese occupation.

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