The Ede practise the water ritual when there is an important event in a village such as moving the village and building a new village, and it is performed annually on new year with the aims of praying the Water God for clean water, and on this occasion, the villagers clean up the water wharf. The water ritual lasting for three days led to hold by the water wharf head.
On the first day, the villagers clean up roads and
repair the water wharf. Participants are divided into two main groups. The
first group is following the sorcerer to perform the rite at the middle between
the beginning village and the water wharf. The second group perform rite at the
water wharf. The offerings include two pigs (one black male pig for water wharf
worship and one pig for ancestors) and nine jars of ruou can, a kind of rice wine
fermented in a jar and sucked with a stem, tied into the pillars gong in a queue in the middle of the
living room of the long house. The sorcerer poured the rice wine on the water
pipe to pray that the water source will never exhausted. Meanwhile, a man
holding a shield dancing and he goes forwards and back three times to chase
away bad Gods from the water wharf. After the rite at the water wharf, the
villagers came to the owner of the water wharf to drink ruou can.
On the second day, block the village. The offerings
include one white cock, one jar of ruou
can, cotton thread and rice. The rite takes place at the village gate. On
the side of the water wharf owner’s door hung with the cotton thread, chicken
feathers and a bamboo ring. The village entrance is blocked by trees tied with like
pink threads and chicken feathers in order to inform the far guests that the
strangers will be banned entering the village. In the case the strangers want
to leave the village, he/she has to leave something as security which will be returned
to him/her. During the water ritual happening, all activities of farming, hunting
and gathering must stop. Whoever breaks this will be punished under the rules
of the village.
The sorcerer prays while the gongs played. Then the sorcerer
holds the ruou can sucking-stem and
gives it to the owner of the water wharf (the host), the villagers suck ruou can in turns from female to male. Next,
the sorcerer delivers rice and pink thread for the families in the village to
worship at their own homes. The sorcerers have duty to come every family in the
village to practice the water ritual.
On the third day, open the village gate. The offerings
include one chicken and one jar of ruou
can. This rite means chasing bad Gods and pray for the water source fresh
and clean. After the rite is completed, there is no sign prohibiting passers-by.
The Ede’s water ritual featured with rites more than
funny activities. However, this is also the occasion for the villagers to
gather at the house of the water wharf talking, singing and sharing feelings.
The water ritual in
Buon Kli (Buon Ho town); Photo: Y Dhiu Nie Mla