CULTURAL RITES CELEBRATE PALAU HERITAGE

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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

KOROR Palau (Palau Horizon, June 22) — Last weekend, June 16, we were invited to witness two cultural rites in two separate villages up north Babeldaob Island, both meant to keep intact the Belauan cultural heritage amidst the inevitable changes brought about by modern times and the threat of so much globalization. Here are some of the images we have captured on camera and a brief background on those two cultural events:

In Ngaraard, the women gathered for a feast as they witnessed the acceptance of Christina R. Salii as Dilbuked of Ngerchedok Clan of Ngebuked Hamlet.

Salii was unanimously approved by the Dubs, who are composed of seven women and are the counterpart to the traditional male chiefs of the village also called as Ngeruau.

The first ranking female chieftain Mlechei Sebelau Rechesengel heads dubs. Dubs is a society of women title bearers who are the female counterparts to the male chiefs in Ngeruau.

The names and respective ranks of the Dubs who attended the feast of Dilbuked Christina Rengiil Salii at Bai ra Klebeang are as follows: 1. Mlechei Sebelau Rechesengel, 2) Dilbuked Christina Rengiil Salii, 3 Dirraurei Antonia Wenty (represented by Mary Wenty Adelbai), 4) Dililau Umai Shiro (represented by Bertang Melelm), 5) Bringual Ikelau Olngelel, 6) Diladelbai Maria Beketaut and 7) Dilkerai Kebor Medalarrak

On hand to witness the installation of Dilbuked Christina Rengiil Salii at Bai ra Klebeang was her brother Vice President Camsek Elias Chin who bears the chief title Kerai of Ngarchedok Clan, numerous supporters, relatives and ourrot of Ngarchedok clan as well as many of Dilbuked Christina’s friends from the Ekei Women’s Organization.

Dilbuked Christina Rengiil Salii comes from a long line of female relatives who have held the title of Dilbuked. Christina’s mother Lalii Rengiil held the title Dilbuked from the 1960s to mid 1990s. Christina’s aunt Josepha Waikasang Tellei held the title of Dilbuked from the mid 1990s until 2006. Christina’s cousin Kebesuul Idelkei Emaurois held the title of Dilbuked from 2006 to 2007.

Ngasech in Ngarchelong

In Ngarchelong, two women held a baby shower party that also served to gather all members of the family in a feast day.

The Ngasech at Oikuul is for the newly born babies for cousins Naniko Henry and Desmarie Dlutaoch.

The two mothers danced to the tune of modern-influenced music as family members and invited guests swarmed around and present dollar bills to them.

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