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Wai Lesu

Date
21-Mar-2012
Description
On the southern high slopes of Mundo Perdido the water of the spring Wai Lesu are said to have once drained back to its origins in Luca. The spring takes its name from a lesu (K: a wooden rice husking implement). In its origin story the waters emerged from the ground following the fall of the lesu which was being pounded beneath the pillars of a sacred house located on a high precipice. Recovering the lesu from a newly emerged spring at the bottom of the precipice, the house of Wai Lesu began making ritual offerings to feed the custodians of the spring. But at some point in time these rituals ceased and as a result the spring water simply drained back down the mountain to its rightful home in Luca (indicating that the rice husking implement was also connected to the ritual power of Luca). By the time the water arrived back in Luca it had metamorphosed into human form and had told the ruler of Luca that the people of Wai Lesu no longer respected the spring. Meanwhile the house of Wai Lesu, bereft at losing their water, sent out a messenger to Luca to negotiate the return of the spring water. The ruler of Luca gave this messenger sacralised betel leaves and told him to return to Wai Lesu and prepare sacrifices for a ritual at the spring. There when all the necessary sacrificial objects and animals had been readied, the messenger of the house 'called' the ruler of Luca using betel leaves which he placed to his ear. 'Are you [the water] coming yet or not he asks?' 'We are coming', was the reply. As the messenger recited a prayer the sacrificial buffalo fell to the ground dead (a sure indication of the power and correctness of the prayer). Suddenly the spring water re-emerged, gushing from the ground to swallow up all the things prepared as an offering.
Type of spring
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