By Julian Baldick
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Additional info for Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan
During the ﬁrst ﬁve days after the burial the whole community would live in seclusion, and it was forbidden for anyone to work outside the house, to ﬁsh in the river, to hunt in the mountains or to go to the ﬁelds. In this period it was also forbidden to consume beer or to wear ﬁne clothes or jewellery. On the ﬁfth day the kinship group gathered in the house of the deceased. The local sorcerer was invited, and he, while the relatives prepared sticky rice for the dead person, sprinkled beer as a libation over the grave.
This leads one to wonder to what extent dualism is 46 ANCIENT RELIGIONS OF THE AUSTRONESIAN WORLD prevalent in Taiwanese religion. Ami myths give us male–female pairs, but, as we have observed, may be of foreign origin. The number two does not occur often in the materials that we have surveyed. Among the Tsou one festival lasts for two days, and another is divided into two parts, while the Saisiyat have festivals every two years. Two is found more often among the Puyuma. They have a two-day interval between burial and puriﬁcation, and a Puyuma village is divided into two halves.
In this, on the ﬁrst day, the ‘virile warriors’ repair the men’s and boys’ houses. On the second day two diviners ‘clean the village’, going to the ancestral cult houses and removing the forces of evil contained there. On the third day two groups of men make offerings to the protecting ancestors of the two halves of the village at the latter’s entrance. Later they put bows and arrows at the village’s gates, to frighten restless spirits away. On the third day the ‘virile warriors’ prepare the area in which the efﬁgy of a monkey is sacriﬁced on the ﬁfth.