Sakau ceremony field trip Paies Kitti

This term the ethnobotany class hiked up to Paies, Kitti, Pohnpei, part way up the ridge to the east of campus. The hike would be the longest of the term.Information on the sakau ceremony details are covered in my on line text book, with further cultural information also available in Pohnpeian.

Apaisang, Joey, and Permaleen hiking up the ridge

Virginia, Maria-Asunsion, Sallyann pose with Maria's dinner catch.

Cheryll Ligohr on the trail

Mae Felix on the trail.

Cleaning the sakau in the traditional manner using only a coconut husk

Virginia, Liona-Leigh, Cheryll, Mae, and Renselyn Anson in the nahs

Although sakau was present at the nahs, Terson had not yet remembered where the men sit. Neither Terson, Melsina, nor Markina had yet realized that their legs should be up in the presence of sakau.

Jasper "Setin" Predrick, Lasialap.

Sakau enters the nahs

Branches are cut. Jaefrey Ioanis is oaurir, no need to remind him how to sit. He knew exactly what to do. Jaefrey is serving the nephew of the chief who was unable to attend. The kousapw is led by Sounkawad clan, clan of the people from above Lididuniap water fall. The woman who brought rahmedel from Kosrae in a sacred bodily place was Sounkawad, hence Sounkawad serves their chiefs only rahmedel.

Preparing to traditionally clean the sakau

Pounding, Jasper and Lepen assisting

Jaefrey on the high platform as oaurir before our chief for the ceremony.


Serving the host

Joey and Jasper remain until sundown. By this point in the term I have a sense of who my students are, and I had thought Jasper would remain after the class dismissed. Given the remote location and long down slope trail, I was not certain anyone else would remain, but Joey opted to remain on the mountain.

By the time we descend back to campus, the last light of the sun lights the western sky over the college campus. Thanks are due to kousapw Paies, Kitti, Kasiano "Lepen" Paul and his family, and the college for making both the course and this capstone experience possible.
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