Tao’s new boats ceremony in July
On the day before the date of the new ship’s launching ceremony in July (see Tao calendar), the crew must be dressed up for the personal invitations to friends and family.
On the morning of the ceremony, relatives and friends of the same tribe help the crew to move the harvested taro to the new ship, in order to prepare enough taro to cover the whole ship.
The taro is also a symbol of fish, the pile of taro symbolizes the harvest and the expelling of evil. The invited guests greet the captain and sing praises.
People receive a portion of taro, then people cut pork into portions, as ritual meat including pork pieces, blood, a piece of lung, belly meat, a small piece of stomach, intestines and so on.
After the distribution of pork, men of the tribe are allocated into several teams according to age. Coming from four corners into the new boat, these men put on a ferocious appearance, and issue a “o~o~o~” sound, used for strengthening the power of the ceremony.
The sailors sing blessing songs on a new boat in a traditional cloth. And then, all men together with other tribal men throw and catch the boat in place several times, then lift it to the beach before it’s launched.
After the new ship is launched, the crew members conduct a trial row to complete the series of launching ceremonies.
Photo impressions of the boat launching ceremony
Video impressions of the boat launching ceremony (youtube.com)
Video of ancient traditional Tao songs and ceremonies, directed by Véronique Arnaud, 1972 (vimeo.com)