交陪_3_2

時間───2015年9月7日
受訪人───尤威仁
參訪人───陳冠彰、林雅雯
地點───社子尪姨住所
整理───陳飛豪、陳冠彰
翻譯───李俊逸

他與祂的童年記憶

從有記憶以來,我便能夠看見別人所看不見的「朋友」,不過最初並不知道「祂們」與「我們」是不同世界。在進入國小前,我對身邊所見到的都覺得祂們是理所當然存在,甚至不知道祂們跟我是屬不同世界的。因此有時我會跟這些別人看不見的「朋友」對話。雖然自己覺得很平常,不過倒是嚇壞了身邊的大人,畢竟看到一個小孩在郊外玩的時候對著空氣自言自語,一定會覺得這小孩有問題。但對我來說,鬼魂其實是非常自然的存在,而我也覺得人與鬼之間的差別完全是一體兩面,甚至有時根本只是一種「身分」的差異而已,這些完全是順著心去轉變的,有時思維想法一變,看到的事物也會不一樣,阿飄的世界千變萬化。
但比較特別的是,有時與祂們接觸之後,我的身體會出現不舒服的反應,不收驚的話便會一直發燒、嘔吐,像感冒的症狀,不會康復。收驚的阿婆常說我是被家神仔「問到」,後來才知道家神仔指的是別人家的祖先。因為常常身體不適很常去收驚,別人嚴重的是一個禮拜收驚七次,我那時候差不多要八、九次,去一次收費兩百元,收到阿婆都覺得不好意思,因此她教我的家人怎麼收驚,要我們在家自己處理,不用一直來找她。此外,我是個早產兒,七個月就出生,在保溫箱裡住了快一個月。因為早產的關係,我的身體表面幾乎看不到血管,到國小之前打針都還需要在頭皮上找血管注射,看病加上收驚,家人都說我是用錢疊起來的。
雖然說小時候我並不在意這些圍繞在自己身邊的鬼魂,但是到了國小二年級以後,身旁同學逐漸地遠離我,起因於我會一個人對著空氣講話、喃喃自語,那時候我才發現自己跟別人不太一樣。上小學後,雙親開始在安定鄉的工廠上班,工廠對面就是一片墳墓,那片墳墓區裡住著一位阿伯,而我便跟在父母身邊,在這裡從國小一年級玩到國中,每一次寒假、暑假我也都會去找阿伯玩。這位阿伯在墳場擔任「土公仔」,他養一隻猴子,平日的例行公事就是幫人家撿骨、顧墳墓或草皮澆水,他的工寮是用墳場裡廢棄的棺材板等各種材料所搭建。
在一般人的眼中,那一大片的墳墓群就像是一個個饅頭般立於那裡,但是當我進到墳墓群裡頭,眼前的畫面彷彿是演電影一般,慢慢地幻化出另一個空間,墳墓會變成厝、樓房、矮房,也有破屋等等。墳墓越大,看起來就會是豪宅,如果只有土丘、一個石頭充當墓碑,那就是比較舊式的土角厝。另外我看到墓碑好比是墳墓的大門,鬼魂是靠墓碑出入墓穴。墓園本身對我而言彷彿就是一個熱鬧的市集。我可以具體地看到如「人」的形體在那裡熱鬧地遊走,祂們都霧霧的、沒有影子,但也並非像電影中的離地三吋飄來飄去,祂們跟一般人一樣都踩在地上行走。
國小三年級的暑假,在墳場有兩位小朋友跟我玩在一塊,我們一起灌蟋蟀、玩阿伯養的猴子等,什麼都玩。他們會和我聊天,但是他們的聲音聽起來總是沙沙的,有點像是隔著電風扇講話時發出的聲音,或像是對不上頻道的收音機發出的雜訊,但這並不影響我們的相處。他們說什麼我都聽得懂,我說的他們也懂,就這樣彼此玩了將近一個月的時間。
直到開學前的一個禮拜,我的身體開始感到不舒服,這次再怎麼收驚也沒有用,最後家人只好帶我去南鯤鯓代天府,三王出來後跟家人說我被兩個小朋友的魂魄跟著,廟裡的人說要趕快找到是在哪被跟到,才能依狀況處理。我媽媽馬上就想到工廠前的那一大片墓場,去找那位阿伯應該會知道原因。到那裡,阿伯一看到我媽媽如此焦急,馬上就預料到發生了什麼事情,當下帶她去看那兩個小孩的墳墓。他們是一對雙胞胎,因為意外而溺水身亡,以前小孩的墓都做得很隨便,甚至草蓆包一包就直接下葬,無人祭拜,想當然爾也就成了孤魂野鬼,他們不是要害我,只是透過我讓其他的大人知道他們需要一些食物。後來照著鯤鯓王爺的指示處理,我的身體也就好了起來。
這次經驗讓我慢慢知道,原來那些我習以為常的東西,嚴格來說並不屬於這個世界,因為我有陰陽眼,有時會將祂們與我們的世界混淆,我的父母便希望我能成為一位正常的小孩,就請南鯤鯓的王爺做主,將我的陰陽眼封住。但三年後我跟同學以及他父親一起去七股海邊釣魚時,我在岸邊不小心滑倒撞到頭,撞到的那瞬間很像被雷公打到一般,我忽然覺得周圍熱鬧了起來,醒過來後我又看得到了,只是這次不同於上次的狀況,這次看到的好兄弟比較少,而且看得到的多為有緣的,無緣分的牽扯或是沒有中間人當成橋樑,我也是看不到的。
另外我小時候很常燒東西給認識的好兄弟們,但那時沒錢,只能把超市廣告DM上印的男裝、女裝、童裝的衣服圖案剪下來燒給祂們。不過有趣的是,如果廣告單背面是印蔬菜水果,祂們穿起來後,背面就會是那些印上去的蔬菜水果,雖然如此,那些朋友們還是很開心。有次我去家中開宮壇的同學家玩,我問他家人是否有廣告目錄能給我燒給好兄弟們,他們告訴我,那些衣服燒給祂們其實也穿不久,因此等以後有能力燒經衣、白錢會比較妥當。

初識「阿立祖」

國中的時候,我在埤仔腳公廨,認識了負責人吳深漢老師,他是麻豆人,經營金紙店,我常常去他那裡玩。當時吳老師就說,我國小六年級跌倒後到國一下學期完全恢復前,那些我看見的好兄弟都是和我有緣才會看到。國二,「阿立祖」出來之前,吳老師就跟我說,我的能力已經慢慢地恢復了,之後要放我自己去發展,這時我才慢慢認識埤仔腳公廨。遇到吳老師前,我其實不知道埤仔腳公廨在拜什麼,只大約知道是拜太祖或老君祖。
印象中小時候的我真的不敢進去四社的公廨,因為以前的公廨陰森、寒冷,而且一進去左手邊就掛了一顆豬頭,就像現在掛的豬頭壳一樣,但以前的豬頭是黑黑臭臭的,而且聽說公廨蓋好後,就一直沿用那顆豬頭壳。吳老師來了之後,看到公廨舊了,經阿立祖的允許把舊的豬頭給化掉,再請人重新油漆、整理環境、地板重打,才有現在的規模。小時候看到桌腳下有五個甕,可能因為年紀小,我還以為是用來裝人骨的,有次好奇打開來看,才發現甕裡頭是空的,而我也在打開的那瞬間聽到一位女生的笑聲,後來才知道那是曲甕,我現在回想那當時的笑聲,應該是阿立祖的聲音。
我們家族也有在祭拜太祖,但我們用來祭拜神明、祖先的神桌是懸吊式供桌,釘在牆上很高的地方,祭拜阿立祖的地方是在供桌另側下方(龍邊)地上擺了一塊塊磚頭,上面擺著一個碗、檳榔還有一罐米酒,後頭斜放一根竹子(向竹)。碗中的水不能乾枯,平時要加水,初一、十五則要換水及檳榔。以前我們稱呼「老君」叫老君祖或太祖媽。老君祖誕辰時(農曆3月29日、6月16日),家裡就會煮油飯然後拜拜,在各類祭品下鋪香蕉葉。祭品通常就是一個油飯、米糕、檳榔、酒,沒有燒香也沒有燒金紙,但有點香菸。當時我所知有限,並不知道在拜什麼,就蹲在那跟著家人祭拜,後來聽吳老師說,我才知道家裡拜的其實是太祖。長輩們其實對這些祭祀流程完全不了解,只知道這是以前祖先傳下來的祭祀方法,以及拜的神稱太祖媽而已,他們就是固定買一包檳榔,兩顆留家裡,其他的就是拿去公廨。相傳太祖(祖靈)是居住在水中(天地自然),所以祭拜的水不能用礦泉水、自來水,一定要用古井水,這也是我們家族迄今都沒有使用自來水的原因,家中的所有用水,都來自於古井。
認識吳老師後,我就在公廨學習祭祀太祖的儀式,比方說「換青」就是初一、十五要換澤蘭與香蕉葉。此外,祭祀用的豬頭也有固定方法處理,必須要用大鍋煮,把肉全部都刮下來,之後再用洗米水把它洗白。一直到2005年的農曆3月29日祭祀當天,那時候老尪姨是林朝順,已經八十幾歲了,他在主持儀式進行的同時,我突然間也踩起了特別的步伐,儀式進行到「點豬」,他點完換我點豬,我在沒有任何意識的狀況下,就跟他一起參與了祭儀的過程,一直到那天,家人還有老尪姨才意識到我是被阿立祖選中的人。
到了30日那天公廨拜完一顆豬頭,隔天老尪姨請我去送卿姨家拿剃完肉的「豬頭骨」,我只記得到送卿姨家後,我的記憶就一片空白了,聽現場的大人說,我拿到豬頭骨之後便開始唱起牽曲,隨後又拿著紅線邊唱著歌曲,以傳統的方式綁起豬骨頭的上下顎骨,現場製作要放進公廨的「豬頭壳」。經歷這兩件事情後,吳老師來跟老尪姨對談,才知道阿立祖要收我做乾兒子,以後的路祂會鋪好,於是我就慢慢地踏上了尪姨這條路。
從事這份工作,我必須跟阿立祖溝通,特別的是,在祭祀時我只要拿著檳榔、米酒,被阿立祖附身後就有辦法完整地以西拉雅語念誦咒語。但你現在問我,我也只會說米酒是什麼,檳榔是什麼,剩下的就完全不會。「阿立祖」一上身時,我是完全呈現放空的狀態,過程中不會留下任何記憶。可是在今年祂的生日祭典時,我跟祂要求希望可以讓我可以知道公廨會發生什麼事,因此今年儀式進行時雖然被附身,我仍留有幾分意識。

塵封的西拉雅家族信仰

日本時代因為推行皇民化,很多傳統信仰都被禁止,不可拜神、拜祖靈,那時包括頭社的大公廨,祭祀用的「阿立矸仔」也都被請去藏起來。我爸爸小時候也沒有看過這兩只一黃、一白的阿立矸,僅存的印象只有磚頭上的那只碗而已。我阿公在過世前,交代我去他床底下找查某祖帶來的「矸仔」。我打開藏在阿公床下的皮箱後,就看到被早期日文報紙包裹著的阿立矸仔,這些矸仔從日本時代到現在,很長的時間都沒有被拿出來拜,因為早期的長輩怕被人家說是「平埔番仔」,但又怕沒拜,因此都用碗代表。這兩只「阿立矸仔」是我的曾祖母(尤吳幼)留下的,她也是我們所稱的「尪姨婆仔」,早期村庄的人都會請她到田裡收成的農作物「放向」(施法)。她是大內區環湖人,現在她娘家那也都還有阿立祖在。「阿立矸仔」這信物是跟著女兒走,女兒去哪,阿立矸仔就會跟去哪,因此社子里僅存的一戶有私奉的太祖阿立矸是當年曾祖母從環湖帶來的。
「阿立矸仔」五支一組,稱作五姊妹,除非是大公廨才會有五支一起出現的狀況。一般在家庭中常出現的是「社社」和「篤加」,有的家庭會將「阿立矸仔」擺上供桌,有的不會。在特殊的節日,我們會替各太祖進行「換青」,「青」指的就是為「阿立矸仔」裝飾,「換青」是指將壺、矸體上供奉的植物換上青綠的枝葉,每處使用的植物都會有點不同,通常會是香蕉葉或是澤蘭,在祂們的生日時才能插圓仔花跟雞冠花。每處「換青」使用的植物也有所不同,有的聚落僅用澤蘭,而我們這裡盛產菅尾,所以幾乎都用菅尾,吉貝耍因為有白甘蔗葉,他們就使用白甘蔗葉,六重溪則用過山香。這些植物有個共通的特色在於均是較具神性的植物,且都有治病的效果,可用來當藥方,據說阿立祖手上也都會拿著一把澤蘭。對漢人來說,「阿立矸仔」等同於他們的神像,但事實上我們在拜的不是矸仔,而是矸仔裡面的水,也就是拜天地自然。
民國九十四年的農曆10月14日,晚上十一點,也就是早子時,老尪姨過世了。同一時間,我在頭社祭典時被正式地「採起來」(被採用為尪姨)。據說當時有一道光,從老尪姨家的客廳飛了出去,那道光就是來找我的。阿立祖會選擇她的繼承人,新的尪姨在接任的過程中,也需要被測試,具體內容我也說不上來,但很玄地,我會在參與的過程中慢慢了解自己接下來可能的任務。之後民國九十五年,我才又找頭社曲陣來我們這裡牽曲殺豬,後續的動作就是大家現在慢慢看到的祭典活動。
祭典的程序與傳統有些不同也與夜祭形式不同,我跟阿立祖商量說把祭典做成兩天,一開始拜天、點曲還有牽曲的總驗收,之後要點豬時,再過來這裡延續到整個祭典。嚴格來說,將祭典系統化,以「活動」或「典禮」的形式舉行,就是從那時慢慢形成的。這些祭典以前就有,但之前是各自來拜完後各自離開,大家來來去去,沒有統一的行程。當時沒有牽曲也沒有殺豬,頂多就演布袋戲,老尪姨起來是沒開口的,跟頭社的尪姨一樣是「觸香的」(將手或是身體某處直接接觸香)。頭社的尪姨是武角,我是文角,我的香固定五柱,以手心握熄,我有開口,她則完全沒有,整個祭典就大約是如此的進行模式。
在長時間不同族群殖民後,西拉雅的文化差一點就在臺灣消失了。未來我們希望結合文化活動的規畫,藉著族人對於自身文化的認同,逐步地復興西拉雅的文化。

Ang-î:
Bridge between Alid and People
────── Wei-ren You

Time: September 7, 2015
Interviewee: Wei-ren You
Interviewers and Guests: Guan-jhang Chen, Juliet Lin
Location: Shezi ang-î’s place
Compiled by Fei-hao Chen and Guan-jhang Chen Translated by Fred Lee

Childhood Memory about Spirits

I saw “friends” that are invisible to others since I had my memory. However, I was not aware that we were from different world/space. It was not until elementary school that I questioned their existence in the same space as mine. So, I talked to them from time to time. I think this communication make no different from that we have between people. However, this interaction was frightening just as people see a kid talking to the air and they would think that he had a mental problem. Ghosts actually are commonly seen. For me, people and ghosts are just like the two sides of a coin. It is the identity that makes us distinguished from each other. As our mind and thoughts change, what we see also changes. This is how the amazing spirits world is formed.
Interestingly enough, sometimes when I had contact with them, I felt uncomfortable. I would suffer from a continuous fever, vomit, and other flu-like syndromes unless I went to an exorcist. A lady exorcist said that I was “greeted and inquired” by domestic spirits. I, later, realized that domestic spirits are the ancestral spirits of a household. The most serious and urgent situation with a demoniac, I had known, was for him/her to undergo the exorcism rite seven times a week. But in my case, I used to see the Lady exorcist eight to nine times a week and the fee was two hundred New Taiwan dollars for each session. This made the lady feel embarrassed as she had got a lot of money from us. She then taught my family how to perform exorcism so that we could deal with the situation at home. Besides, I was a premature baby, born at twenty-eight weeks, and was kept in an incubator for nearly one month. That is why I got smaller veins over my body and I got injected on my head when required. For all the spending on medication, medical treatment and exorcism, I was raised with a large fortune.
When I was little, I used not to care too much about my interaction with spirits nearby. When I was in the second grade, my classmates kept me away because I talked and murmured to the air. By then, I started to be aware that I was different. Since I studied in the elementary school, my parents had worked in a factory in Anding, a township in Tainan. Opposite to the factory there was a grave yard. An old man lived there and worked as a “thóo-kong-á” who guarded the cemetery, watered grass field and did bone exhumation of the deceased for their descendants. He lived in a hut built of spared coffin boards and various kinds of materials that you may find in a cemetery.
In other people’s eyes, tombs are like buns lied in a graveyard, but in my eyes, when I step in a graveyard, the space turns into a scene in the movie. I would see tombs rise and become houses, high-rises, low-rises and ruins, etc. The greater a tomb is, the most likely it would turn into a mansion. If a tomb is humbly formed with a pile of earth and a gravestone, that may turn into an old-styled thóo-kah-tshu, or rammed-earth-structured house. Moreover, a gravestone is the front gate of a house to get in and out of the tomb. A graveyard to me is just like a busy market. I can see blurred shape of people walking without shadow on the ground in the hustle and bustle market, which is different from the ghosts in movies walking above three inches high from the ground.
During the summer vacation when I was in the third grade, there were two kids playing with me. We went cricket hunting and played with the monkey the graveyard keeper kept. We had a great time doing whatever for fun. We chatted but their voices sounded unclear. It sounded like the voice when we talked in front of a fan or that with white noise when we could not tune in the exact channel. This, however, did not affect our communication. I understood what they said to me and so did they. We had been playmates for nearly a month.
I felt unwell the week before school started. Exorcism did not seem to work this time. My family ended up taking me to Nan Kun Shen Dai Tian Temple. A medium in the temple told us that I was attached by two kid spirits. They had to find out where they came from so as to solve the problem I had. My mom thought of the big cemetery right away and rushed to the graveyard keeper. As soon as the keeper saw my mom being so anxious, he knew exactly what happened, and led her to the tomb of the two kids. The twin brothers were drowned accidentally. Children’s tombs used to be finished randomly, sometimes they would not get a proper tomb and the bodies would just be buried with the cover of a straw mat. Since no one attended to their tombs, they became stray ghosts. The two kids did not mean to harm me, they just wanted others to know that they needed some food via me. Following Lord Kun Shen’s instructions, I recovered.
I have learned from this experience that what I am used to see does not belong to this world. I could sometimes be confused their world with ours because I was born with Yin Yang Yan, or the Third Eye. My parents wanted me to live like other ordinary kids, so they asked the Wang Yeh (Royal Lord) from Nan Kun Shen to close the Eye. However, three years later, when I went fishing with my classmate and his father at the seashore at Chigu, I slipped and got hit on the head. That moment was just like being hit by lightning. Suddenly, I could feel that it became hustle and bustle again around me. When I came to myself, I regained the Third Eye. However, I saw fewer spirits, most of whom were fate-bound with me. For those who have no bound with me, I could not see them, unless with the help of a medium.
I remembered when I was little, I used to burn outfits printed on supermarket flyers to wandering souls, so that they would get those outfits in their world. The funniest thing was that if vegetables and fruits were printed on the other side of the flyer, the patterns of vegetables and fruits would also shown on the back of the outfits they wear. Even so, they were happy about having them. I went to the house of a friend, whose family managed a shrine. They told me the offerings of items on flyers were not durable, and it would be better to burn them clothes with scripts and joss paper when I could afford them.

My First Encounter with Alid

I met Shen-han Wu at the kuwa (shrine) at Pi-á-kha when I was in junior high school. He is from Madou and ran a joss paper store. I went to see him a lot. When I was recovering from the slip in the second semester of the first year in high school, he told me that those spirits I could see were fate-bound with me. When I was in the second year in high school and before Alid made her appearance to me, he said that I had fully retrieved my ability so I should make use of it properly. Then I got the opportunity to know more about the kuwa at Pi-á-kha. Before I met Wu, I had little knowledge about the kuwa and just vaguely knew about its worship of the Great Ancestors.
I remembered that I dared not step in the She-tzu kuwa, because it used to be spooky and frigid. There was a pig head hung on the left-hand side just like the pig skull we have now, but the difference is that it was black and stinky back then. The head had always hung there in the kuwa since it was established. When Wu came and noticed the worn-out kuwa, he enquired and got Alid’s permission to burn the pig head to ashes and to renovate the kuwa to the scale we see today. When I was little, I saw five earthen jars sitting under the table, I mistook them for cinerary urns and opened one of them out of curiosity only to find it empty. At that moment, I heard laughter of a woman and then I realized that the jars were actually utensils for a rite, and it was probably Alid’s laughter.
My family also worships Alid. We install a shrine high on the wall for worshiping other gods and ancestors, while the altar for Alid is set on the ground on the left-hand side (the Dragon side). A bowl of water, some betel nuts and a bottle of rice wine are rested on bricks to make the altar along with a bewitched bamboo placed against the wall. There should always be some water inside the bowl, so we refill constantly. On the first and the fifteenth day of each lunar month, we have to replace the water and the betel nuts. We used to call Alid “nóo kun” which means the Great Ancestors or the Great Female Ancestors. On Alid’s birthday (March 29 and June 16 by lunar calendar), we prepare sticky rice and other offerings on banana leaves to worship Alid. We light cigarettes instead of incense sticks and do not burn joss paper. I did not know whom I worshiped but just crouched and copied what other family members did. Wu told me that it was Alid that we worshiped. The elders did not know exactly how the rite was performed, all they knew was that this rite had been passed down for generations, and that they worshiped the Great Female Ancestors. They would buy a pack of betel nuts with two of which offered at the home altar while the others offered at the kuwa. It is said that Alid live in the water (representing the outright naturalness), so we have never used mineral water or tap water for offering, we have to use well water. That is why so far my family has never used tap water but water from an ancient well at home.
I had been learning how to perform the rite of worshiping Alid since I met Wu. Changing green is to replace bonesets (eupatorium chinensis) and banana leaves on the first and the fifteenth day of each lunar month. Besides, there is a standard procedure to prepare the pig head: you cook it, get rid of the meat, and wash the skull with water from rice washing. On March 29, 2005 when the eighty-year-old ang-î (shaman), Chao-shun Lin, was hosting the festival, I suddenly walked in with special steps. When it came to the pig checking and accepting ritual, I followed his steps and performed the ritual with him unconsciously. My family and the ang-î then realized that I was the one chosen by Alid.
The next day after offering a pig head at the kuwa, the ang-î made me get the processed pig skull at Aunt Sung-ching’s place. My memory went blank after I arrived. People there said, as soon as I got the skull, I started to sing the ritual songs. While I was singing, I picked up a red line to tie the upper and lower jaws of the pig skull together in the traditional way, and finished all the required procedures performed on the pig skull on the spot. For what had happened to me during this festival, Wu came to talk to the ang-î and knew that Alid wanted me to be her godson and that Alid would pave the way for me. Therefore, I was on my way to become an ang-î.
My job is to communicate with Alid. Interestingly, as long as I am possessed by Alid and with betel nuts and rice wine in my hands, I could chant incantation in the Siraya language, but whenever I come to myself, I can only say rice, wine and betel nuts in the language. When possessed, I submit myself to Alid, so I remember nothing about what happens in a ceremony. However, at the birthday ceremony this year, I requested Alid to keep me conscious so that I would know what happened at the kuwa. So, I had some memory about the ceremony this year even though I was possessed.

The Buried Siraya Household Religion

Due to the Japanization movement, lots of traditional religions were prohibited. Worshiping gods or ancestral spirits was forbidden. Lots of “a-lī-kan-á”—bottles used to worship Alid—including the one in the kuwa at Toushe, were put away secretly. When my dad was little, he had never seen the two family a-lī-kan-á—one is yellow and the other is white. What he could recall is the bowl put on the home altar. Right before my grandfather passed away, he asked me to get the a-lī-kan-á—brought to the family by my great grandmother. As I opened the suitcase hidden under his bed, I saw the two a-lī-kan-á wrapped with old Japanese newspaper. These bottles had not been worshiped for a long time. In the old days, the elders did not want to be called the “plain indigenous” neither did they want to give up the tradition, so they used bowls to replace the bottles. These two a-lī-kan-á were left by my great grandmother, Wu-yu Yu, who was the female ang-î that could cast spells on crops. In her family of origin in Huanhu, Danei district, people still worship Alid. Traditionally, the bottles used to worship Alid are entrusted to the daughter of a family, and they are with her wherever she goes. Thanks to my great grandmother who brought these two bottles and left them to us, we are the only family in Shezi worshipping a-lī-kan-á at home.
Five a-lī-kan-á form one set, and they are called the five sisters. The set can usually be seen in the kuwa, but only two of them, the Sheshe and Dujia bottles, are commonly seen in a Siraya household. There are only a few households set a-lī-kan-á on their offering table. On special occasions, we “replace green” for Alid. That is, we replace the plants in the jars or bottles with new ones, but the plants can vary from tribe to tribe. Banana leaves and bonesets (eupatorium chinensis) are commonly used, but we use bachelor’s button and osmanthus on Alid’s birthday. In Shezi we grow lots of silver grass, so it is predominantly used; leaves of saccharum officinarum are used in the Kabuasua tribe, and Taiwan wampee is used in the tribe of Liuzhong River. All these plants are characterized with divinity and their medical use. It is said that Alid always has a bouquet of bonesets in hand. For the Han people, the a-lī-kan-á is like the statue of a god, but the truth is we do not worship the bottle, it is the water and the outright naturalness it represents that we worship.
On the fourteenth day of the tenth lunar month, 2005, the senior ang-î died at eleven o’clock at night; meanwhile, I was officially promoted to an ang-î after a ceremony. People said that a light from the late ang-î’s place came to me. Alid chooses her own successor, so a new ang-î would be tested, but I just cannot tell what I had been tested on. Amazingly, I knew what task or mission I would be assigned by participation and involvement. Later in 2006, I asked the Siraya cultural choir in Toushe to help with our song-singing and the pig sacrificial ritual. Then it gradually develops to what we see in the festival now.
The procedure of the festival nowadays differs from that in the past and that of conventional Siraya Night Festival. I discussed with Alid on making the festival a two-day event starting with worshiping heavenly gods and checking on the choir’s performance. Then from the pig sacrificial ritual, we followed the conventional procedure. That was when the festival became more organized and ceremony-ish. We have had the festival for a long time, however, there has not been a fixed schedule for all the rituals. People used to leave when they finished worshiping. We did not chant the traditional songs, neither did we offer pigs as sacrifices at that time, but we had puppet shows instead. In the festival, the late ang-î and the one from Toushe directly touched the incense sticks with their hands or body parts. Now the ang-î from Toushe plays the role of a soldier whereas I play that of a scholar. I always have five incense sticks and put them out with hands. This is how the festival goes nowadays.
After undergoing the colonization of different ethnic groups, the Siraya culture almost vanishes in Taiwan. We hope to engage in its revitalization by launching cultural activities so that we Siraya people can identify ourselves with our culture.

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