Chung chung chung:
house a shrine had been made from stout bamboo in an inverted pyramid
to hold the head of the buffalo. It's last moments recorded in wide-open
eyes and rolled back lip. Long lengths of rattan sprang from the centre
of the structure, which hung low with woven decorations. It held me
in a macabre fascination.
shrine a small family group ate with their heads sheltered by a cloth.
Their hands moved quickly and they looked around furtively; there was
an animalistic nature about their actions that frightened me.
In a low
structure in the yard the buffalo carcass was being butchered. A small
group of men were chopping away at the meat transforming it into mince.
Alongside them was the party fuel in a line of rice wine jars. Looking
at the red faces I assumed that it was already flowing and I wondered
how many fingers might end up in the dishes. The blood was driving the
village dogs mad and vicious fights started over scraps. It was turning
into a vegetarian's nightmare.
A line of
ceremonial gongs strung from a beam was readied and then in time to
the rhythm of the chopping knives they were played in a deep hypnotic
harmony. Chung chung chung - Chung chung chung, the harmonics vibrated
in my head and disturbed me. A man with entrails wrapped on a stick
pushed passed me and grinned a toothless grin. It was 'Apocalypse Now'
stuff and I'd had enough. I was a voyeur on something I didn't understand
and it felt wrong to be there.