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Wai Mori Bere

Parent entries
Uma Lulik: Lakudarabaha, Alawa'a, Lalabu, Lebalaku Fofa

This spring has an asserted connection with Wai Lia Bere (see below). 

The house of Lakudarabaha, a parent house of the Wai Husu-Wai Lewa complex, is the original custodian of the spring of Wai Mori Bere. In the accounts from the spring of Wai Mori Bere in Buibau, the various present day Makasae speaking custodian houses of the spring recognize that these waters as the domain of Lakudarabaha. In the account of the house of Alawa'a they, and their sibling house Lalabu, were requested by Lakudarabaha to settle at the spring many generations ago and establish a 'guarda' or staging post for Makasae speakers visiting Baucau from Matebian. In the account of the neighbouring Makasae speaking Lebalaku Fofa house their ancestors came to the area from Utabailema in Fatumaka and married with a woman from the house of Lakudarabaha establishing an ongoing fertility-giver and fertility-taker relationship. While the houses of this spring community now have their own ritual relationship with Wai Lia Bere (and the house of Ledatame Ikun) the pathway to this relationship was through Lakudarabaha, the true 'owners' of the spring. In 2010 a large collective ceremony was held at the Wai Mori Bere spring to re-establish the relationship with Wai Lia Bere and ensure that the post-independence flow of water would be strong. 

In 2009/2010 the spring community of Wai Mori Bere in Buibau reinvigorated their connection to the Wai Lia Bere spring and its custodians on the plateau. During the Indonesian occupation the resident communities around the spring of Wai Mori Bere fled to the jungle, or had their lives otherwise disrupted by military occupation. As a result these spring rituals were severely disrupted and it is said the spring became dry for nearly two decades. In 2009 a ceremony was organized to make amends for this breach of ritual obligation. An offering of a chicken and a goat was taken to Wai Lia Bere and a sacrificial ceremony was carried out at the sacred banyan tree by the cave followed by a descent into the cave where 'mother water' was collected. This water (M: ira falun) was carried in a bamboo container along with seven bundles of betel chew to the Wai Mori Bere spring. There the sealed bamboo container of water was immersed in the centre of the spring. Following this a ritual invocation by the custodians of the water was carried out and the betel chew from the ceremony at Wai Lia Bere was spat into the water. Through this process the sins of the ritual obligation breach were cleansed and the ancestors were asked to accept the request that waters flow once more. After seven days the water began to flow. Later the water carried from Wai Lia Bere to Wai Mori Bere was ritually returned to its source on the plateau along with an offering of a pig and a goat for the sacred house of Ledatame Ikun. With the ancestral connection thus ritually reestablished a further two ceremonies were required to cement this relationship into the future. The first was a ceremony at Wai Lia Bere in 2010 when a buffalo was taken to Ledatame Ikun by the Wai Mori Bere water sharing community as a final payment for the past breach. The second required the water sharing community of Wai Mori Bere to gather together for a large ceremony at their spring to 'ira gi gini' (M: 'bang firm' or strengthen) the re-established relationship. At this latter ceremony a buffalo was slaughtered at the spring.
Type of spring
Waima'a: 'the big origin water'
Image file


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