Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sakau Ceremony

Last Thursday afternoon I went to a sakau ceremony down in Kitti. Sakau is a mildly narcotic drink made from pounding the roots of the pepper plant. Sakau has huge significance for Pohnpeians and is used during almost every special occasion and celebration. In recent years, though, sakau has become available in bottles or even at bars.
The men are bringing the pepper plants into the nahs. Everything has to be done correctly, including for the "audience." You cannot dangle your feet off the nahs during the ceremony. Men and women sit separately.
Chopping the roots off the plant.
The guy in the center is scrubbing the dirt off the roots with a bit of coconut husk while the man on the left used his machete to separate roots from stems. Only the roots are used.
The final pile of roots ready to be pounded into sakau.
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