Snake roast a major event


POSTED ON 2010-01-27
  by Dena McMaster





Recently missionary Porter Hampton observed a cultural event that gave him insight into the lives of the Arimtap people. Porter and his wife Lexie are ministering to the Arimtap people.

Their goal is to teach evangelistic Bible lessons and eventually establish a church among the Arimtaps. Meanwhile they are learning everything they can about the culture and language of the people.

Yance was given a rather large snake by one of his in-laws, Porter wrote. "A couple days later he killed and ate it along with quite a number of other people from the village. I had not yet seen this particular event so was present to make observations and take pictures and participate if they let me."

The snake was roasted in a hot rock-type oven with some sago and greens wrapped in large leaves. Yance took it over to some waiting adults and began the process of dividing up the snake and vegetables. He began by making several small piles of snake, sago and greens and handing one to a number of adults, but not to everyone. As each started to eat their pile, they passed a smaller portion to someone else. Some was given back to Yance. The process took about 30 minutes and involved further dividing and giving and receiving.

"Aside from the fact that most of the food was handled by the dirty hands of four to five people before it was consumed," wrote Porter, "... I thought it was a beautiful picture of what Christmas could really be like, each one giving from what they have received.

"I can hardly wait for the day when the Arimtaps will be able to hold a similar event and give to each other from a heart of joy, knowing the gift they have received from the Ultimate Giver."

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