Monday, January 12, 2009
An Anthropological Study of the Wattawik Tribe
The Wattawik tribe has unique tribal rituals to celebrate the blessings of warm weather and good company. The men hunt a large variety of meats to be rubbed, poked and then suspended on metal racks over a special flame that never gets too big. The Wattawik will eat the flesh as it starts to cook. The more mature and wise Wattawik will eat the flesh while the blood still drips, and the flesh is still a dark red. The younger members of the tribe and "cowards" will eat it when it is the color of soil and the consistency of the soles of their feet.
The women set up the feasting and ritual area to ensure the comfort of all the participants, while the children play with toys made by elders from a distant village. The games consist of swinging one's arms about in a dangerous fashion while looking at a magic box that mimics one's movements. The little ones jump up and down furiously as they watch their friends swinging the magic white stick. Sounds are made to express disappointment and success. The Wattawik children believe that the more sounds that are made, the better their friends will fare in the game. There is also the belief that if one is loud enough one will psych the other one out and thereby make their friend lose their concentration. The game is called Wii and the Wattawik children are experts.
While the men sear the outside of the hunted flesh and let as much of the fat and juices drip down into the flames, one of the women, or one of the men who did not hunt, will make the libations. These vary depending on the hunt. Generally the Wattawik prefer a fermented beverage that has been chilled to a perfect 0°C called Socol. It is made by the wise men and elders of a nearby village and is believed to contain the secret to happiness and the mysteries of the universe. The Wattawik drink is as often as possible in the search for spiritual and physical enlightenment.
Another popular Wattawik drink is Cachaka. This is not a fermented drink, but a carefully distilled beverage that can be mixed with fruit. It is amazingly refreshing and brings on enlightenment and happiness within moments. It's effects last for hours and the imbibed will be reminded of how much they drank the following morning. Some of the Wattawik will even be reminded of the sacred liquid a little later in what is called a "Pukefest" or "Holy Purge" as the Wattawik call it, which translated means " to puke one's guts out and think of death". Although this is not a favorite activity of the Wattawik, it seems to be one of the most common. It is mostly performed by the members of the tribe with weaker constitutions and the young ones who don't know yet how to "hold" their sacred liquid of enlightenment, or have no notion of when they are enlightened so they continue to drink long after they should have stopped.
The Wattawik believe in chance and trying their luck with cards while under the influence of the fire cooked flesh, Cachaka and Socol. They will sit for hours and shout at each other, throw random fits, laugh and share sacred moments. This is extremely popular with the elder Wattawiks, although the younger ones often participate and generally lose.
The Wattawik men will not clean after the celebration as it is considered beneath them and a form of "evil" and is reserved to be used as cruel and special punishment. The women in turn are expected to make sure the young children are well fed and happy as they clean and remove any traces of the celebration. This ritual is a minor form of slavery and is one of the more difficult ones to participate in.
The Wattawik are scattered throughout the world but are more commonly seen in the warmer regions of South and North America.