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Genre: Healing/conflict resolution. The ritual Tata liba performed on the level of family in the house of Wongga Lute, the ‘trunk’ house of the larger family. Mr Wongga and Mrs Lute take part in the ceremony for a nephew, Nowi, who will go to Malaysia for work. His father Dhoka is also present. Although Tata liba is essentially a ritual of reconciliation, it can also be done preventively. There was no indication of prior quarrels or anything, like in the other Tata liba ritual recorded by SD at the same house. Instead it was done for good feeling before Nowi’s departure to Malaysia for work. Nowi must remember his family and ancestors while away, and maintain good relations. The officiant called upon is lakimosa Ngaji Pione, the head of ceremonial affairs in the traditional domain of Kéli, of which the hamlet Nara is part. Ngaji is skilled in ritual language, Pa’e, and can also improvise it. The ritual always include Bhulu wa’o, to ask for the blessings of the ancestors, Hina hama pu mori. In Tata liba, whatever the size of the ritual, the participants must sit on a bamboo facing the east. Each participant is given raw (ceremonial) rice grains to hold in the hands, which will be thrown behind the back, to the west and the setting sun at the closing of the ritual. The officiant holds a coconut bowl with water and cotton fluff which he soaks in the water and then puts/splashes water with a touch on the bodies of the participants, beginning with the forehead five times, then moving down to the feet, once at each part of the body, arms, chest, navel, knees, feet. This is to ‘tata’. The water used in the ceremony is called ‘wae rita’, referring to the water of the Rita tree, but it is metaphorically meant, not a ritual requirement. After the officiant has spoken in ritual language and put water on everyone, the participants throw the rice grains behind them and spit in the coconut bowl. Negative feelings are symbolically disposed of, to drown with the setting sun. Recorded full HD by Pitu Sopune on an Olympus PEM-1 camera an afternoon around 1 June 2019. There are other people present, observing the ritual, commenting and laughing a bit. Tata liba, especially one involving many participants, may also involve the gift of egg(s) and money on an ancestor stone, 'rate', immediately after the ceremony.
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