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We Feto/We Lalosuk

Date
02-Jun-2015
Description
In Belu, West Timor in the village of Taek Soruk are a set of springs known collectively as We Feto (feto=woman). We Feto refers in particular to one spring on the edge of a river bank where a story tells of an old woman who went missing when she went to fetch water at midday. When her husband went to find her all he found by the spring was her earthen cooking pot (sanan) and a dried bamboo cylinder called au toka. It is a common belief in Taek Soruk[1] as well as in Koba Lima that is dangerous for a woman, especially a pregnant woman, to go to spring at midday because this is the time that malevolent spirits are believed to be most active and they may harm her. Further upstream from We Feto is another bank edge spring known as We Lalosuk (lalosuk=stirring up from the ground) with a large stone altar on the river's edge. Some years ago the people from the house connected to this spring moved it to Manuleten (manu=bird, leten=above the ground) near Oe Alas. A large collective ceremony was held at We Lalosuk and fifty chickens were sacrificed along with a pig before water infused with the blood of the pig was placed in a green bamboo cylinder and carried in a baby sling to the new location in Manuleten. Here the 'child' (oan) of We Lalosuk was thrown to the ground to create a new spring We Katimun (katimun=a type of tree that grows near water spring) in Manuleten. The mother water (we inan) at We Lalosuk has been diminished since. 


[1] Taek Soruk is a part of the territory of the ancient kingdom of Lookeu and the majority of the people in Taek Soruk belong to the kingdom of Lookeu and identify themselves as people of Lookeu and as such as the people of Koba Lima. Today, due to wars and displacements and changes to political territories, administratively they belong to the kingdom of Fatu Baa. Their elected leader is currently a son of the traditional ruler of Lookeu.
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