Friday, August 24, 2007

Tuke fali (Harvest)

Before the grand harvest, the farm owner will perform the ritual of Nlaban fali near the Bot tne. A portion of the standing crop is tied to uway (rattan) with sluan (climbing fern) and weighed with stone to serve as the starting point of the harvest. The women turn their back to the "tied palay" imbued with a spiritual fervor that there will be more for them to harvest.

Tuke fali is an elaborate celebration that begins with the ritual of amngawe, where women exhangce chants to fill the air with meriiment. Before amngawe is the ritual of pandoman (thanksgiving cermony) that takes place in the fol two bundles of palay are placed on the mat. The framer lunges a spear to the rice bundles then the community forms a circle around the mat in deep silence, thanking Dwata for the protection of the elnigo from pestilence and for blessing the eldnigo with bountiful harvest.

After pandoman, the men go hunting for wild pigs or deer or just settle for a native chicken. A portion of the palay harvest is cooked by women duirng the celebration. While some women harvest palay, others are thres the straws with their feet. The grains are then brought to the sung (hollow stamp mill) and pounded. While the activities are going on, women converse jovially and chant their conversations.

Then the men arrive with their catch and join the preparations. Rice cakes and viands are prepared from wild chicken, wild pig, or deer and offered as damsu (offering). After the damsu, everyone goes back to the field and help in harvest. When the harvest is about to finish, rice straws are bundled and brought to the house and arranged for sun drying the following day. After all the palay harvests are accounted for, the farmer and his wife initiate the dance to the beat of falimak 9gong) and sluray (bamboo guitar) and everyone joins in. The merriment lasts until nightfall. The families who took part in the harvest are given a share of the harvests gifts.

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