By Julian Baldick
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Additional resources for Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan
Boys, by contrast, would come to it after the age of one, and had to play in it. Youths lived in it, in order to learn from their elders how to use bows and arrows and hunt. 42 Behind the building there was a broad open space, where sacriﬁces were performed by the entire village. There was also a red ﬁg tree, which was surrounded on all four sides by a small fence, to emphasize its being ‘taboo’. 43 According to Ho¨llmann’s sources the Tsou used to kill twins. 44 A pregnant woman had to observe a number of taboos.
These diviners also perform rituals for the community as a whole. In one such ritual, called ‘giving the share’, they put down seven bamboo beakers, and, in front of each one, seven pieces of meat for the spirits. Formerly the diviners performed the ‘rite of the deer’ after a successful headhunting expedition, in order to reintegrate the warriors into society. 69 Twins used to be killed at birth by the Puyuma. After an ordinary birth the father must not hunt or go to the ﬁelds for seven days. On the second day the baby is ‘introduced’ to the supernatural world by its parents, who scatter a few grains of rice.
He would sleep during the night there, in order to predict the future by means of a dream. At the same time all the warriors of the village would do the same in the common-house. In the morning he rejoined them, and they interpreted the dreams. (One source tells us that each of the warriors had a skin bag, in which one of the dreams was stored. A dream was auspicious if in it one experienced triumph. If one had doubts, one had to go early in the morning to the wild and listen to the oaimu sing.
Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan by Julian Baldick