Ascribed Ritual Leadership 1

  • gebeali (“ancestor man”) – men from specific lineages in each clan who hold the responsibility for ritual performances addressed to ancestral dama spirits at gebeanda ritiual sites; also known as gebe gamuyi (“gebe spell holder”).
  • dindi pongoneyi (“holder of the root of the earth”) – gebeali leaders at the largest gebeanda ritual sites along the the root of the earth (dindi pongone), such as Gelote and Bebenite.

Achieved Ritual Leadership

  • gamuyi (“spell holder”) – men with a reputation for possessing a wide stock of gamu spells which they provide to others in return for payment.
  • liruali (“liru (ritual stone) man”) – men with specialist knowledge and spells who perform rituals addressed to liru stones; also, in the context of tege pulu rituals, those who instruct the
  • uriali officiants in appropriate procedure.

Ascribed Secular Leadership

  • agali haguene (“head man”) – the senior man in the senior lineage of a clan; ideally, the ultimate repository of knowledge about clan origins (dindi malu) and clan genealogies (ma/u) and the sole individual with the right to deliver such knowledge in the formal damba bi ch genre in public forums such as disputes; otherwise referred to as damba bi laga (“damba bi sayer”).

Achieved Secular Leadership

  • agali homogo (“rich man”) – men deemed wealthy in terms of their ability to produce or marshal resources such as pigs; synonyms, all of which stress the role of pigs illl the status of homogo, include: nogo hini (“pig owner”), nogo baga (“pig killer”), nogo homo go (“rich in pigs”). Referred to in contemporary contexts as “big men”.

  • agali wai biaga (“fight maker man”) – war leaders; often men with a reputation for initiating, and thus being able to co-ordinate compensation for, wars; sometimes distinguished by the praise term pari wayali to mark their ability to stay free from wounds; synonyms include: bogaga (“killer”), wai taya biaga (“fight maker”), agali bolenego (“man killer or killer man”).

  • agali bi laga (” speech sayer”) – often synonymous with the status of agali haguene, but generally used in reference to other individuals knowledgeable in terms of lineage genealogies and capable of serving the function of agali haguene at disputes; typically said to be capable of negotiating peace between opposing lineages; otherwise referred to as bi lolene (“speech sayer”).

  • agali dombeni (“middle man”) – men who mediate between clans to both of which they are related. Such men are usually resident along the common boundaries of the two clans, where these are adjacent; synonyms include: dombeniali, agali hanuni (“middle man”) and dombe kua (“middle (?)”).
  1. Chris Ballard. The Death of a Great Land. A thesis submitted for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University, Canberra, January 1995. tables B.21 []