Friday, August 16, 2013
the pig is ready
Here is a picture of the pig and the food that I wrote about in the previous post.
I went down to Miani’s village about 1 pm. Judy and some of the other ladies from the village had already gone to their garden and gathered the bananas and vegetables.As with any event in PNG We all sat around and talked and told stories for several hours as people came. Then there was a lot of discussion on how we were going to tie up the pig. It is a very large pig for PNG and it’s tusks were starting to come out so they were very concerned about restraining it well while the legs were being tied up. Everyone finally agreed on the method and all the men went to get it. It ended up taking 6 guys to hold it down and 4 more to tie the feet. I was surprised by how strong it was. After we finished tying it up and carrying it back up to the villages Judy prepared a small meal for all the people who helped get everything ready. We ate and then the discussion began about getting it to Judy’s family.
We originally thought Judy’s family was going to come and get everything and carry it all up to their village. We quickly realized the pig was too heavy for them to carry all the way to their village. Papa Ganig then launched into a “back in may day” speech about when he was young they carried pigs like this for 15 miles up the side of a mountain. I guess that sort of nostalgia is universal. He finally relented to the consensus and I went and got the largest POC vehicle, a 4 ton flat bed truck outfitted with a shed and benches. We loaded the pig and all the food on the truck and then pretty much the whole village got on the truck and carried it up to the other village. When we arrived the pig and all the vegetables were unloaded and carried down the Judy’s uncle’s house in a grand procession. The food and pig were brought into the village in a single file procession and then pilled up in a way that made it look even more impressive. It was very dark by this point and that seemed to add to the drama of the whole thing. As each new item entered into the light of the lamps and were added to the heap they almost seemed to be appearing out of nothing. Once all the food had arrived there were a series of speeches made by both families about how sorry everyone was for the loss and how the bonds between the two families were strengthened. Judy’s family then presented Miani’s family with a small pile of food, in thanks for the pig. Finally, everyone talked for a while and then we all got back on the truck and went back to Miani’s village.
Judy’s family will cook all night to prepare all the food we brought in addition to what they have gathered. The Huas Krai meal will happen Saturday afternoon and then they will take it down. Miani and Judy will make a separate meal in their village Sunday afternoon with the food they were given for everyone who helped there.