This is Mo’o, a respected member of Lijia village, he works hard and feels certain he deserves a few beers when he’s done. He cooked up a delicious barbecue using the traditional Tsou method whereby the grill is suspended over fire and spun in circles to cook the meat evenly. The rice was also cooked over the fire, steamed inside bamboo. Once chargrilled to perfection, the meal was all served up on a giant banana leaf.
Later, the mountain spirits spoke to Mo’o and told him to give Tsou names all the non-Tsou at the barbecue. I was honoured to be told I was called “Pasuya” (pronounced Ba-Su-Ya), which is the name of a legendary strong, brave hero, who could pull down a mountain with his bare hands. A good name for a chief I was told.
I had to wonder how I’d earned such an illustrious name. After all, I’d been lazing around drinking beer and eating barbecue, whilst elder village members were busy climbing tall trees, chopping logs for the fire, cooking and providing for everybody. Mo’o explained that as the smoke from the fire had been blowing into my eyes, I had just sat there and taken it instead of moving away. In Tsou culture, it is said if you can’t withstand the smoke from the bonfire, you can’t be the chief. Though in my case I’m afraid, my not moving away was just another sign of my laziness.. and desire to drink another beer. Still, I’m glad the spirits were impressed.
Clearly, those mischievous spirits have a sense of humour. Mo’o went around one by one naming everyone there and explaining why the spirits had picked their names, much to everyones amusement.
Camera: Leica M-E
Lenses: Voigtlander 35mm f/1.2, Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8