Wed, 25 Sep 2002

Pigs pay in Penhos purge

TENGGARONG, East Kalimantan: Hundreds of visitors thronged to see the traditional Penhos ritual here on Tuesday, a ceremony periodically held by the Bahau Dayak tribe to purge their village of the sins of adulterers.

According to a village elder, Gerigit, the rite was meant to punish anyone who committed adultery which was strictly forbidden by the customary law of the Bahau Dayak tribe.

"This rite which is intended to free the village from curses and to bring adulterers to justice always draws public attention," he said.

He said any couple caught having sex outside marriage would be paraded through the village before they were expelled from the village.

He said if the adulterer could not afford to sacrifice a pig for the ceremony, their friends or other villagers would have to donate a pig to enable them to perform the rite.

Rejected village members could return to the village only to see their relatives.--Antara