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The Subu Heniin Text

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes features of Subu Heniin text, while considering alongside, other lengthy ritual recitations. The primary purpose of Subu Heniin chant is to foster prosperity, by contacting protective spirits, on behalf of the husband and wife who sponsor the festival. The exfoliation of life from the female body is more than a repeated image in the Subu Heniin text. The Subu Heniin begins with the rising sun, whose light and heat lead to birth and fertility. It is equally revealing that water, the other half of life, is born at a convergence where clansmen cooperate. Fertility is expressed in these images of the rising sun, dividing female body, converging streams and expanding bamboo. The bamboo is important also because it introduces the ritual journey, the second theme of the Subu Heniin text.

Keywords: expanding bamboo; female body; ritual chants; Subu Heniin text



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