by Ron Meshanko

The Huli communicate with Iba Tiri, Ni and Hana and all other deities and ghosts except Datagaliwabe and Dama Tayanda (nature demons) through various forms and types of ritual expression called Gamu. Gamu are the spells and incantations used to control, manipulate, and even possess men and women through sets of words and actions designed to affect dama in such a way as to produce an effect on the environment, material objects, one’s self and/or another person or persons. The efficaciousness of gamu depends upon observance of the exact form of the prescribed behavior as well as the use of a set ritual matter. Often the gamu practitioner must observe defined ascetical practices such as fasting from water, food, and sexual relations to ensure the desired effect.

Dindi Gamu
A communal fertility rite using ritual gestures, sacrifices and spells to renew the earth’s fertility. Ritual matter used to appeal to Hana, Helahuli and other major deities includes pigs, sacred stones, sticks and pig grease.

A protection rite for the community that drives away evil dama through the ritual dancing of two dancers.

A a form of sorcery used by a male individual with the hopes of breaking a victim’s bones through the intervention of the god Ni using sacred sticks.

A protection rite performed by a woman using spells to protect kinsmen during warfare. It is also performed by a warrior who uses spells and sacred stones to make himself invisible to deities and invulnerable to enemies.

A fertility rite used by a husband to increase the fertilities of wives, pigs and gardens through ritual gestures and spells directed to the deities Wandatelepua, Dindiaiyua and Dinditane. Sacred stones are rubbed with pig grease by the husband in the garden.

Nogo Tini
A healing rite by male individuals using ritual dances and spells to heal pollution sickness.

A fertility/protection ritual used to remove cataracts from the eyes of male ancestors so they might positively influence human affairs. Men sacrifice pigs and offer spells to the male ancestors.

Tege Pulu
A fertility/protection rite in the form of ritual gestures, sacrifices and spells directed to the male ancestors by male and female dancers.

Tiri Yagua
A fertility/protection type of rite using dancing and offerings to the trickster god Iba Tiri in order to cleanse the river waters. Two male dancers dressed as women wearing yellow gourd masks are the ritual actors.

A form of sorcery used by a warrior to help guide their arrows to the target by chanting a spell to the dead warriors in Dalugeli.

An initiation rite performed by ritual specialists (Liduali, Uriali) to ensure the strength and physical development of boys so they might enter male society. See the Initiation and Haroil Bachelor Cult pages for more information about this fascinating ritual sequence directed towards Ni and other gods using dance, spells, a phallic symbol, bows and arrows and fire.

A fertility ritual performed by the parents of a newborn through ritual gestures, offerings and spells to influence the god Ni. A mother may also perform the rite through ritual gestures and spells. She uses mud, sticks and spit in the ritual to ensure the health of all of her children.