The Cisaro Ceremony for the Kaluli People

1457 WordsFeb 22, 20186 Pages
Perhaps two to three times a year at most, members of a neighboring long house appear to spend time with the members of the other longhouse before returning by night to perform what the Kaluli people hold as the cultural and emotional highpoint of the year. The Gisaro ceremony tells a story of lost loved ones; it brings to the forefront of the mind the pain and anguish of nostalgic recollections of the past and what is longed for once more. The dancers arrive by night dressed in the most ornate of dress, like that of the Kalo birds with feathers and body paints constructed from ingredients from around the rainforest to perform the ceremony aimed at eliciting emotional and angered response from members of their neighboring longhouse. They sing out as though they were loved ones lost, taking on the identity of these loved ones reincarnated in the Kalo bird after which they are dressed. As they perform, the members of the group who have experienced the loss grow largely emotional and angry, taking out their anger by plunging torches into the shoulders of the dancers to get back at them for causing such heartache. Though the fired torches pierce their skin, the dancers do not react and continue their performance long into the night – often for hours at a time. The following day, almost as a peace offering or an apology for causing so much pain in the heart of their neighbors, these performers return to deliver food to them and no animosity is held. Though an incredibly painful

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