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Item Summary

Title: SD1-123
Issue Date: 21 Aug 2014
Description: Genre: Oral history. Theme: Kidnapping-headhunting and construction sacrifice. Serves as appendix to the article: Danerek, Stefan. 2016. Indonesia and the Malay World (45) 131: 88-107. online version (print 2017. narrator tells how he, for the first time, joined his older cousin to steal a child's head to be used in the construction of the new church. 'Wera' followed his cousin "Ngange", a feared man with supernatural powers. "Ngange" in turn followed the instructions of Pater M, Catholic priest and missionary on the island. Synopsis: ‘I will tell from the beginning. Pater Maas had come from the West to Palu’e. He and "Ngange" were friends.’ Wera was still in his early teens, but tall as an adult, when "Ngange" one day came by and said, ‘Let’s talk about stealing heads’. Maas had told "Ngange" to go to Lio to steal heads. "Ngange" and Wera sailed to Aiwora, Lio. They found a child fishing by the sea and they asked him how many they were, and found out that another boy was fishing by the point. Wera went there and asked the boy if he had caught any fish. Then he asked him to rinse one so that they could cook and eat together. Wera then poured ‘hard water’ on the child, which made him unconscious. "Ngange" appeared and said, ‘Hang him upside down’. The body was first let of blood. They cut the heart out and began severing the head with a cutlery knife. Then the body was turned into a standing position and the head pulled off. They cleaned the head and heart with another fluid, covered up the ground, wrapped the body with leaves and tied a stone to a leg. Finally, they sailed towards Palu’e and disposed of the body at sea. They arrived at Langaliwu from where they walked uphill. At the first place they stopped, people did not speak a word to them, as if they suspected something. When they stopped to eat cassava at a friend’s place, Wera let the host couple see the content of his bag, and they were terrified. The lady said, ‘Don’t you have any feelings? That little child’. "Ngange" replied, ‘Pater Maas ordered this, so we went to search for it’. Later Wera showed off the head again, to three women on their way to a plantation. They all ran away. When night had fallen they took the ‘child thing’ to the church where workers and Maas, wearing a purple robe, were waiting for them. ‘Pater Maas immediately fastened it’ in a prepared hole, uttering a prayer (about the robe and the prayer was mentioned in another interview). Wera did not know the year of the mentioned events. Recorded with the H4N Zoom 21 Aug 2014 in kampong Ndeo.
Pages/Duration: 0:06:53
Appears in Collections:Stefan Danerek Collection - Palu'e Audio

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