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From the SRC: Don Richardson’s Lords of the Earth (chapter 3)


Written by BGU

1. Thou shalt not commit incest on pain of death. 2. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s wife, land, pigs, or produce. 3. Thou shalt not marry before thy beard appears. 4. When thou art on a ridge, and thine enemy is in the valley, kill two or three men.
5. Thou shalt not wage war on holy ground. 6. Thou shalt not attack thine enemy during his sacred feasts.

These are six commandments contained in the wene melalek (the ancient words). When entering into manhood via consecration to the kembo (non-human spirits), the young man was usually taught these commands by their father or some father-figure in his life. The Yali believed that a failure to follow these commands would bring about the o-sanim, a heavy and persistent rain that would stretch for days or even weeks, killing crops and bringing about sickness. If the culprit was not found out and killed, the o-sanim may turn into the dreaded kulamong. Kulamong, from what I gather, is a dreaded deluge that was said to have happened long ago. It is Yali history that complete darkness covered the land, leaving people helplessly groping about in the pitch black. Suddenly, they were swept away by a furious rush of water. Could this be the Yali version of the global flood that all cultures fable about?

With pigs dying, people growing ill, and crops drowning in the heavy wash of rain, the priests preformed a supernatural investigation by consulting the kembo. They sought out the spirits to see who the guilty party was. Upon receiving their revelation, they armed themselves with bows and left the kembu-vam, dashing through the downpour with stealth. Their prayer was that killing him who broke the commandments of wene melalek would appease the kembo and stop the o-sanim before it was too late. Intense chapter.

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