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Master Poets, Ritual Masters

13

Suti Solo do Bina Bane: A Version from the Domain of Landu

I recorded this version of Suti Solo do Bina Bane from the poet Alex Mada from Landu during the second recording session on Bali in October 2007. Although it was hard to gauge his age, Alex Mada is, I suspect, the oldest Rotenese poet whom I have recorded—probably even older than Old Meno. Small and sprightly and without his teeth, he spoke with a quiet, clear voice. His trip from Landu on Rote to Sanur in Bali was for him, an extraordinary adventure. He confided to me that flying above the clouds in the plane that brought him to Bali was like travelling to heaven. He was an enthusiastic participant and was particularly happy to offer his version of Suti Solo do Bina Bane.

The traditions of Landu are somewhat problematic among the domains of Rote. In 1756 in a bitter dispute with the Dutch East India Company, Landu’s population was ravished. Its settlements were destroyed and hundreds of men, women and children were captured and sold into slavery. Those who escaped this onslaught dared not return to their homes. Landu became, for decades, a no man’s land and only began to be resettled in the nineteenth century. Gradually, Landu’s dynasty re-established itself and re-established the domain with settlers from many other domains—from as far away as Dengka but predominately from its own remnant population and that of the neighbouring domains of Ringgou and Korbaffo. Its traditions reflect this history.

Figure 15: Alex Mada

My student Lintje Pellu, who was born in Termanu, wrote her ANU PhD thesis on Landu in 2008. This thesis, ‘A Domain United, A Domain Divided: An Ethnographic Study of Social Relations and Social Change among the People of Landu, East Rote, Eastern Indonesia’, is a critical ethnography that documents the tragic history and eventual reconstitution of Landu. During Lintje’s fieldwork, Alex Mada became one of her key informants and she was able to record a version of Suti Solo do Bina Bane from him, which she included in her thesis. This version is a slightly longer recitation of this same chant.

Suti Solo do Bina Bane

The Rice and Millet Ripen in the Fields

Alex Mada’s recitation begins by naming the woman Noa Bafo and the girl Lole Ora. She guards her ripening fields. The women are considered a pair who speak to each other, preparing for the harvest that will require a fua poi//peda bafa offering.

1.

Ina Noa Bafo

The woman Noa Bafo

2.

Ma feto a Lole Ora

And the girl Lole Ora

3.

Feto ma-nea tine

A girl who watches her field

4.

Ma ina ma-sala rene

And the woman who guards her garden

5.

Ina ma-nea rene

The woman who watches her garden

6.

Ma feto ma-sala tine

The girl who guards her field

7.

Na-nea neu tine

She watches over her field

8.

Ma na-sala neu rene.

And she guards her garden.

9.

Boe ma mete i no ona

She looks north and south

10.

Ma relu dulu no muri

And she spies east and west

11.

Bete-ka kaboa

The millet puts forth grains

12.

Fo kaboa e’etu

Grains ready to be plucked

13.

Ma hade-ka modo peda

And the rice grows green tips

14.

Fo modo peda o’oru.

Green panicles to be harvested.

15.

Tehu, duas dede’a leo

But the two talk with each other

16.

Ma telus o’ola leo:

And the three speak with each other:

17.

‘Kaboa e’etu

‘Grains ready to be plucked

18.

Ma modo peda o’oru

And panicles ready to be harvested

19.

Tehu fua poi bei ta’a

But the fua poi ritual has not been held

20.

Ma peda bafo bei ta’a.’

And the peda bafo ceremony has not been done.’

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo prepare their scoop-nets with lontar leaf stalks and Ndaonese cotton.

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo Make their Fishing Nets

21.

Beka rae: tua esa nai Safu

They say: a lontar on Savu

22.

Fo beba esa nai Safu

With its leaf-stalk on Savu

23.

Ma rae: abas esa nai Rao

And they say: a cotton plant on Ndao

24.

Fo pena esa nai Rao.

With its cotton tufts on Ndao.

25.

Boe ma besak ka

Now then

26.

Fetok ka Lole Ora

The girl Lole Ora

27.

Ma inak ka Noa Bafo

And the woman Noa Bafo

28.

Tati neni beba esa

She cuts a leaf-stalk

29.

Ma sesa neni laka esa

And slices its head

30.

Teri kokondo rai

She ties tightly a scoop-net

31.

De rai ea aba don

A scoop-net of cotton

32.

Ma ane bubui se’o

And she binds closely a fishnet

33.

De se’o bui fepa dean.

A fishnet of thick lontar leaf.

34.

Se’o bui a dadi

The scoop-net is made

35.

Ma rai ea mori.

And the fishnet is ready.

Before dawn, the two women go to the sea and begin their fishing—throwing and thrusting their nets, then scooping up their contents. In the process, they scoop up Suti Solo and Bina Bane.

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo Go Fishing in the Tidal Waters

36.

Boe ma rae:

So they say:

37.

Meti bei koa kako

The tide before the rooster crows

38.

Ma tasi bei dulu pila

And the sea before the east reddens

39.

Feto a Lole Ora

The girl Lole Ora

40.

Ma ina Noa Bafo

And the woman Noa Bafo

41.

Neu nama rai rarano

Goes to thrust and fish

42.

Ma nama-se’o toto’o

And to throw and to scoop

43.

Nama-se’o toto’o

To scoop by throwing

44.

Ma nama-rai rarano.

And to fish by thrusting.

45.

De rae:

They say:

46.

Tasi bei koa kako

The sea before the friarbird sings

47.

Ma meti bei dulu pila

And the tide before the east reddens

48.

De sua se’o neu laka

She mounts the scoop-net on her head

49.

Ma rae rai neu aru

And she rests the fishnet on her shoulder

50.

Nama-se’o toto’o

To scoop by throwing

51.

Ma nama-rai rarano

And to fish by thrusting [in]

52.

Meti leo lifu dale

The tide like a water pool

53.

Na mada nama-tutu

As it dries steadily

54.

Ma tasi leo nusa lai

And the sea becomes like raised land

55.

Na meti nama-sesele

As the tide recedes

56.

Se’o to’o, se’o to’o

Scoop throw, scoop throw

57.

Ma rai rano, rai rano

Fish thrust, fish thrust

58.

Rai ra Suti Solo

She fishes Suti Solo

59.

Ma se’o na Bina Bane

And she scoops Bina Bane

60.

Se’o toto’o heni

Scoops and throws away

61.

Ma rai rarano heni.

Fishes and thrusts away.

62.

Rali lifu ma pinda meti

Shifts pool and changes tides

63.

Tehu leo na ko se’o a

But even as she scoops

64.

Nama-se’o toto’o

She scoops and throws

65.

Ma nama-rai rarano

And she fishes and thrusts

66.

Se’o na Bina Bane

She scoops Bina Bane

67.

Ma rai na Suti Solo

And she fishes Suti Solo

68.

Se’o toto’o heni

She scoops and throws away

69.

Ma rai rarano heni.

And she fishes and thrusts away.

Suti Solo do Bina Bane speak, telling Lole Ora and Noa Bafo not to throw them away but to take them home.

The Beginning of the Dialogue with Suti Solo do Bina Bane

70.

Boe ma Suti Solo dede’a

So Suti Solo speaks

71.

Ma Bina Bane nafada, nae:

And Bina Bane talks, saying:

72.

‘Boso se’o toto’o heni

‘Don’t scoop and throw [me] away

73.

Ma boso rai rarano heni

And don’t fish and thrust [me] away.

74.

Uma tala uma teu

Let us go to your house

75.

Ma lo tala lo teu.

And let us go to your home.

76.

Boe ma uma rala uma

Houses are houses

77.

Ma lo rala lo.’

Homes are homes.’

The dialogue begins with Suti Solo do Bina Bane. Lole Ora and Noa Bafo suggest that the two shells go with sea refuse and ocean flotsam; the shells consider this but decline the offer.

The First Dialogue Directive

78.

Boe ma nae:

It is said:

79.

Lole Ora nafada

Lole Ora talks

80.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a, nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

81.

‘Mo tere tasi leo

‘Go with the sea refuse

82.

Ma mo hambau leo.’

And go with the flotsam.’

83.

Boe ma Suti Solo nafada

So Suti Solo talks

84.

Ma Bina Bane dede’a, nae:

And Bina Bane speaks, saying:

85.

‘Tere tasi o,

‘Oh the sea refuse

86.

Malole la boe

May be fine

87.

Ma hambau o

And the flotsam

88.

Mara a boe

May be proper

89.

Te leo timu rasa-rua dulu

But if the monsoon comes again to the east

90.

Fo koka heni hambau

To sweep away the flotsam

91.

Ma fa rasa fali laka

And the west monsoon returns to the head

92.

Fo fa heni tere tasi,

To flood away the sea refuse

93.

Ma au asaedu o bea

Then with whom will I sob

94.

Ma au amatani o bea?’

And with whom will I cry?’

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo then propose that the shells go with the harbour crabs and shore molluscs. But the harbour crabs and shore molluscs are the target of night-time fishing so, weepingly, Suti Solo do Bina Bane again decline this possibility.

The Second Dialogue Directive

95.

Boe ma Lole Ora dede’a

So Lole Ora speaks

96.

Noa Bafo nafada, nae:

Noa Bafo talks, saying:

97.

‘Sona mu mo ni namo

‘Then go with the harbour crabs

98.

Ma mu mo kuma dae.’

And go with the shore molluscs.’

99.

Boe ma Suti Solo dede’a leo

So Suti Solo speaks forth

100.

Ma Bina Bane nafada leo, nae:

And Bina Bane talks out, saying:

101.

‘De tata pele laka namo

‘Then if the fishing torch is unwound

102.

Ma [Fo] loti heni ni namo

To torch-fish away the harbour crabs

103.

Ma fule no do dae

And coconut leaves are unbound

104.

Fo pele heni kuma dae

To night-fish away the shore molluscs

105.

Na u o bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

106.

Suti nasa-edu boboto

Suti sobs weepingly

107.

Ma nama-tani bobolu

And cries tearfully.

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo then propose that they go with the boa trees in the harbour and the pi’o (piko) trees in the estuary. These soft-wooded trees are easily split apart by the monsoon, so again Suti Solo and Bina Bane decline this proposal.

The Third Dialogue Directive

108.

Boe ma Lole Ora nafada

So Lole Ora talks

109.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a, nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

110.

‘Sona mu mo boa namo

‘Go with the boa trees in the harbour

111.

Ma mu mo pi’o oli.’

And go with the piko trees in the estuary.’

112.

Boe ma Suti nafada bali

So Suti talks once more

113.

Ma Bina dede’a bali, nae:

And Bina speaks once more, saying:

114.

‘Te leo pi’o oli malole so

‘The piko trees in the estuary are fine

115.

Ma o boa namo mara a so

And the boa trees in the harbour are proper

116.

Te leo timu rasa-rua dulu

But if the monsoon comes again to the east

117.

Fo seki heni boa namo

To split apart the boa trees in the harbour

118.

Ma fa rasa-fali laka

And the west monsoon returns to the head

119.

Fo hea heni pi’o oli

To pull apart the piko trees in the estuary

120.

Au o u bea bali?

With whom will I be once more?

121.

Au ama-tani o bea?

With whom will I cry?

122.

Ma au asa-edu o bea?’

And with whom will I sob?’

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo then propose that they go with the house post and old beam. These lines appear to conflate house post//old beam with syrup vat//millet basket. As a result, there are four lines here that, though paired, do not make clear sense.

The Fourth Dialogue Directive

123.

Boe ma Lole Ora nafada

So Lole Ora talks

124.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

125.

‘Sona mu mo timi di

‘Then go with the house post

126.

Sona [mu] mo balo tua.’

Then go with the old beam.’

127.

Boe ma [Suti] nae:

So Suti says:

128.

‘O balo tua a malole a so

‘Oh the old beam is good

129.

Ma timi di ho mara so

And the house post is proper

130.

Te leo bou tua hene lo*

But if the lontar vat ascends the home*

131.

Ma fati bete ae uma*

And the millet basket rises in the house*

132.

Seki heni bou tua*

And splits apart the lontar vat*

133.

Te [hea] heni balo tua*

And tears apart the old beam*,

134.

Na o u bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

These next lines correct the preceding lines (130–33): Lole Ora and Noa Bafo tell the shells to go with the lontar (syrup) vat and the millet (not the rice) basket, but if visitors come and take from the vat and basket, it will be emptied.

The Fifth Dialogue Directive

135.

Boe ma Lole Ora nafada

So Lole Ora talks

136.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a, nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

137.

‘Sono mu mo fati bete

‘Then go with the millet basket

138.

Ma mu mo bou tua.’

And go with the lontar vat.’

139.

Boe ma [Suti] nae:

So Suti says:

140.

‘Te leo pa’u raonda mai

‘But if visitors arrive

141.

Ma fui na ranoko mai

And strangers come

142.

Fo hai heni bou tua

To take [from] the lontar vat

143.

Ma hai heni fati bete

And take [from] the millet basket

144.

Ma au u bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

Lole Ora and Noa Bafo tell the shells to go with the border stone and boundary tree, but if a hundred goats and a thousand buffalo come, they will kick over the boundary tree and trample the border stone, leaving the shells on their own.

The Sixth Dialogue Directive

145.

Boe ma sona, Lole Ora nafada

So then Lole Ora talks

146.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

147.

‘Mu mo to batu

‘Go with the border stone

148.

Ma mu mo peu ai.’

And go with the boundary tree.’

149.

Boe ma Suti nafada leo

So Suti talks out

150.

Ma Bina dede’a leo, nae:

And Bina speaks forth, saying:

151.

‘Te leo bulan bibi nara mai

‘But if the moon’s goats come

152.

Fo bibi natu ara mai

A hundred goats come

153.

Fo fetu heni peu ai

To kick over the boundary tree

154.

Ma ledo apa nara mai

And the sun’s buffalo come

155.

Fo apa rifun nara mai

A thousand buffalo come

156.

Fo hake heni to batu

To trample the border stone

157.

Na o bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

Again, Lole Ora and Noa Bafo make another proposal: that the shells go to sacred forest groves—the huta of the wood//luli of the forest. But if these are cut down, the shells will be alone once more.

The Seventh Dialogue Directive

158.

Boe ma nafada bai

So she talks again

159.

Lole Ora dede’a

Lole Ora speaks

160.

Ma Noa Bafo nafada:

And Noa Bafo talks:

161.

‘Sona mu mo nura huta

‘Then go to the sacred grove

162.

Ma mu mo lasi luli.’

And go to the forbidden forest.’

163.

Boe ma Bina Bane nafada

So Bina Bane talks

164.

Ma Suti Solo dede’a nae:

And Suti Solo speaks, saying:

165.

‘Au u o nura huta

‘I will go to sacred grove

166.

Ma o lasi luli

And to the forbidden forest

167.

Te leo atu asa oli

But if the sharpened chopping knife

168.

Na lo’o heni nula huta

Cuts down the sacred grove

169.

Ma sosa do tei sina na

And the adze with its Chinese blade

170.

Huka heni lasi luli

Opens up the forbidden forest

171.

Na o bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

Once again, the women make a proposal. This time, they urge the shells to go with the people of the land and clansmen of the mountain, but if these people shift, the shells will again be abandoned.

The Eighth Dialogue Directive

172.

Boe ma ana dede’a bali, nae:

So she speaks once more, saying:

173.

‘Sona mu mo nusa iku

‘Go with the people of the land

174.

Ma mu mo lete leo.’

And go with the clansmen of the mountain.’

175.

Nae:

[Suti] says:

176.

‘Au o lete leo o malole a so

‘My going with the clansmen of the mountain is good

177.

Ma au o nusa iku o mara a so

And my going with the people of the land is proper

178.

Tehu leo lete leo a hiru

But if the clans of the mountain shift

179.

Ma nusa iku a hai

And the people of the land move

180.

Na u o bea bali?’

Then with whom will I be once more?’

Finally, Lole Ora and Noa Bafo propose that the shells go to be joined with a gewang (Corypha palm) trunk and a lontar (Borassus palm) stalk and set in fields to serve as clappers to drive away birds that attack the growing fields. With this suggestion, the recitation comes to an end.

The Ninth Dialogue Directive

181.

Boe ma Lole Ora nafada

So Lole Ora talks

182.

Ma Noa Bafo dede’a, nae:

And Noa Bafo speaks, saying:

183.

‘Sona mo isi tula

‘Then go with the gewang trunk

184.

Ma mu mo londa fepa

And go with the lontar stalks

185.

Fo era etu mu londa fepa

To be bound with the lontar stalks

186.

Ma puru mo isi tula

And attached to the gewang’s trunk

187.

Nai tine a dale

Within a dry field

188.

Ma nai rene a dale.’

And within an irrigated field.’

The poem ended with Alex Mada’s follow-up explanation that the shells were to become ‘clappers’ to drive away the birds (manea manupui ra).

Analysis of Alex Mada’s Version of Suti Solo do Bina Bane

Alex Mada’s version of Suti Solo do Bina Bane consists of 69 dyadic sets. This number includes several formulaic sets that cannot be decomposed into simpler dyads. Of these 69 dyadic sets, a majority are dyadic sets shared with Termanu and would appear to belong to a widespread—possibly island-wide—core of ritual pairs. Many of these sets are basic and are recognisable despite phonological differences in the dialects of the two domains.

Some of these dyadic sets with similar phonology that are immediately recognisable are, for example: 1) bete//hade (‘millet’//‘rice’); 2) bulan//ledo (‘moon’//‘sun’); 3) dua//telu (‘two’//‘three’); 4) fa//timu (‘west wind/monsoon’//‘east wind’); 5) feto//ina (‘girl’//‘woman’); 6) lifu//meti (‘pool’//‘tide’); 7) lo//uma (‘home’//‘house’); 8) loti//pele (‘[to fish] by torchlight’//‘[to fish] by leaf-torch’); 9) meti//tasi (‘tide’//‘sea’); 10) namo//oli (‘harbour’//‘estuary’).

Other sets, which may be less easily recognised because of Landu’s dialect phonology, still form part of this wider core of shared ritual terms. They are the same terms as used in Termanu. Some examples of these dyadic sets are the following—for example, in contrast to Termanu, Landu lacks initial ‘k’. Hence the following transformations:

Table 9: Termanu–Landu Dialect Comparisons I

Termanu

Landu

Gloss

kapas//tua

>>

abas//tua

‘cotton’//‘lontar’

ketu//kolu

>>

etu//oru

‘to pick’//‘pluck’

kedu//tani

>>

edu//tani

‘to sob’//‘weep’

ki//kona

>>

i//ona

‘left’//‘right’

Landu also lacks medial ‘k’, while on the other hand, Landu retains certain medial consonants that Termanu lacks:

Table 10: Termanu–Landu Dialect Comparisons II

Termanu

Landu

Gloss

boa//piko

>>

boa//pi’o

boa tree’//‘piko tree’

kapa//bi’i

>>

apa//bibi

‘water buffalo’//‘goat/sheep’

Medial ‘ng’ in Termanu becomes ‘k’ in Landu, while some initial and some medial ‘l’ become ‘r’; hence these transformations:

Table 11: Termanu–Landu Dialect Comparisons III

Termanu

Landu

Gloss

alu//langa

>>

aru//laka

‘shoulder’//‘head’

ane//teli

>>

ane//teri

‘tie’//‘bind/plait’

dadi//mori

>>

dadi//moli

‘happen’//’occur/become’

dulu//langa

>>

dulu//laka

‘east’//‘head’

dulu//muli

>>

dulu//muri

‘east’//‘west’

leo//ingu

>>

leo//iku

‘clan’//‘land’

natu//lifu

>>

natu//rifu

‘hundred’//‘thousand’

nula//lasi

>>

nura//lasi

‘wood’//‘forest’

Medial ‘nd’ in Termanu becomes ‘r’ in Landu:

Table 12: Termanu–Landu Dialect Comparisons IV

Termanu

Landu

Gloss

ndae//sua

>>

rae//sua

‘to rest on shoulder’//‘mount on head’

ndai//seko

>>

rai//se’o

‘to scoop’//‘fish with scoop-net’

Despite these phonological differences, the semantic value of these dyadic sets is retained across both dialects. It is possible—though admittedly sometimes difficult—for speakers of one dialect to adjust to the sound shape of the other dialect and thus follow a ritual recitation.

More significant are the dyadic sets in which there occurs a shift in semantic terminology.

It is with these sets that we encounter levels of difference between ritual recitations in Landu and Termanu.

It is useful to focus on a few clear examples.

One example is the slight difference between Landu and Termanu in reference to the offerings that are supposed to be made at origin/harvest ceremonies. Where Termanu has peda poi//fua bafa, Landu has fua poi//peda bafa—a simple reversal of the terms fua//peda (‘to lift’//‘to place’).

Another example of a minor difference is in the terms for the house: Malesi uses the expression timi di//lungu tua (‘house post’//‘cross-beam’), while Landu has timi di//balo tua (‘house post’//‘old beam’). There is, in fact, variation among the naming of house parts in different domains and, as a consequence, variations among poets on the island in their references to parts of the house.

Another good example is where several poets of Termanu use the expression bou tua//neka hade (‘lontar syrup vat’//‘rice basket’), while Landu has bou tua//fati bete (‘lontar syrup vat’//‘millet basket’). Termanu is noted for its rice fields; Landu for its extensive millet cultivation.

In reference to growing rice and millet, Mikael Pellondou uses the formulaic expression hade la modo peda//betekala dio hu’u (‘the rice is green-tipped’//‘the millet has ripened grains’), whereas Alex Mada’s expression is hade-ka modo peda//bete-kaboa (‘the rice grows green tips’//‘the millet puts forth grains’).

In Termanu, ni//poek (‘crab’//‘shrimp’) form a pair; in Landu ni//kuma (‘crab’//‘mollusc’) form a pair. They appear to be used in similar contexts.

Other differences occur but may appear to be less immediately apparent.

Table 13: Termanu–Landu Dialect Comparisons V

Termanu

Landu

Gloss

osi//tina

rene//tine

‘two kinds of fields’//‘gardens’

bobolu//dodopo

bobolu//boboto

‘weeping’//‘sobbing’

taka//tala

atu//sosa

‘axe’//‘adze’ (machete)

seseko//kokolo

bubui//kokondo

‘tightly’//‘closely’

A Succession of Distinctive Formulaic Expressions

There occurs in Alex Mada’s recitation a succession of distinctive formulaic expressions that would resonate and be recognised by speakers of Termanu dialect but would not necessarily be considered part of Termanu’s oral phraseology.

Twice—in lines 37–38 and again in lines 46–47—Alex Mada uses the formulaic expression to describe the seascape in the early dawn:

Tasi bei koa kako

The sea before the friarbird sings

Ma meti bei dulu pila.

And the tide before the east reddens.

By contrast, both Meno and Seu Ba’i describe the dawn with this expression:

Siluk bei ta dulu

When morning is not yet in the east

Ma hu’ak bei ta langa.

And dawn is not yet at the head.

Equally common, in Termanu, is the expression that links the dawn to the sound of the friarbird and parrot:

Boe-ma koa bei timu-dulu-la

Friarbirds still in the dawning east

Ma nggia bei sepe-langa-la

And green parrots still at the reddening head

Alex Mada’s expression beautifully blends the physical appearance of the dawn with the song of the friarbird.

In Alex Mada’s recitation, the woman Lole Ora//Noa Bafo offers nine separate directives in her dialogue with the shells. Several of these directives given to the shells are distinctive. Thus, for example, initially Lole Ora//Noa Bafo tells the shells:

‘Mo tere tasi leo

‘Go with the sea refuse

Ma mo hambau leo.’

And go with the flotsam.’

These words would be understood in Termanu but no poet of Termanu uses this formula as one of his directives. (As will be seen, however, this expression is used in other domains, particularly Bilba.)

Again, in her second directive, Lole Ora//Noa Bafo urges the shells:

‘Sona mu mo ni namo

‘Then go with the harbour crabs

Ma mu mo kuma dae.’

And go with the shore molluscs.’

This, too, is a distinctive directive.

Similarly, Loe Ora//Noa Bafo tells the shells:

‘Sona mu mo boa namo

‘Go with the boa trees in the harbour

‘Ma mu mo pi’o oli.’

And go with the piko trees in the estuary.’

In Termanu, virtually all versions of Suti Solo do Bina Bane allude to the shells floating in the sea like boa and piko driftwood but in no recitation is there a directive to the shells to join these two soft-wooded coastal trees.

The fourth directive, ‘house post and old beam’, and the fifth directive, ‘lontar syrup vat and millet basket’, are variants on Termanu’s directives; the sixth directive, ‘border stone and boundary tree’, is a common formulaic expression in Termanu. The seventh directive, ‘huta stand and luli grove’ in the forest, is distinctive, while the eighth directive could be considered a variation on various formulaic expressions in Termanu.

The final directive is that the shells attach themselves to gewang palm trunk and lontar palm stalk to become a kind of sounding clapper to drive away birds and animals from the fields. This is reminiscent of some of the dialogue in Mikael Pellondou’s recitation and will occur again in Ande Ruy’s recitation from Ringgou.


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