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Festivities Meaty things Nature Stories

PIG STORIES: The Spiritual Pork

A few weeks ago, Jerry and I had the remarkable opportunity to witness an animist ceremony honoring the forest gods in a northern Lao village. Read the story in The Faster Times, and take a photographic scroll through that afternoon here. The villagers sacrificed a pig, offered bits of it to the spirits and divvied up the rest among dozens of families. This is the second in a three-part series on the lives and deaths of Asian pigs.

5 replies on “PIG STORIES: The Spiritual Pork”

Sorry Mark. Should have had captions.
From top:
– Butchering the pig in the sacred clearing.
– Creating equally sized piles of pig bits for each of the participating families. The bits are laid out on a carpet of clean leaves.
– Pig bits are handed out to families based on a list
– People hang their family pig bits form knives jabbed into trees around the site. The bamboo thingies are special spiritual decorations for the festival
– People wait for the ceremony to start
– The steamed inner bits are shown to the people before they are chopped up as offerings for the spirits
– Men prepare the special food for the spirits as other guys (and only guys) await the start of the feast
– One of the celebration leaders prepares the food and rice wine presented to the spirits
– Guys sit around eating the special feast food
– Celebration leaders eat their own special feast food in front of the spirit house
– The remaining bits of pig, reserved for the celebration leaders, are carried from the clearing

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