Pig Feast

“Oh yeah, and DO NOT cook the meat with MSG or lemon, right?!” they reminded, handing Michael a raw hunk of wild pork.
Michael had just finished up an unexpected Tuesday.

That morning, he had walked to the village (about 1km) to study with the teachers and village leaders. When Michael got to the village, one of his close friends, a teacher, round-aboutly asked Michael if he would be willing to take him down the mountain to pick up a pig that he had shot, with his blowgun, the night before. Michael said yes, thinking “how far could it be?”…Plus, what an interesting cultural experience! Turns out that it was not “just at that bridge”, but “just at THAT bridge” QUITE far from here.

After readying the big old pig to be carried on the back of another friend’s motorbike, Michael brought the hunting party back up to the village. Michael came on home, quickly ate lunch, grabbed his camera, and asked G if he wanted to tag along. They got back to his friend’s house just in time to help butcher the beast.

They joined the party of people sitting around, watching the cut up job.

It was stinky (the pig was getting old and bloated by that time), and I don’t even really like looking at most of the pictures.

Michael and G learned about how to cut up and process a pig. They learned a little about how to divy up meat in a culturally acceptable way.

They hung out and got to be a part of the party, bonding their hearts just a little bit more to our friends here.

They got to learn about the blowgun, the darts, the poison, and how to take care of it all.

They saw the dart holder with custom made cap, resin glue holder, shoulder strap, and built in “hang it anywhere” bamboo tree limb hook. Do you think this is something they’ve thought about?

They watched the process of shaping and prepping the darts.

They learned that the poison is so potent that only people with a lot of experience handle it…and that carefully!

And of course, they learned a few (of the MANY) beliefs surrounding the blowgun. One, don’t season meat taken with a blowgun with MSG (some say salt). Spices used on the meat can “kill” the poison making it ineffective. Also, certain people are gifted at “interpreting” the black mold spots on a blowgun. They know when it needs to “rest” and cannot be used for a few months. Right now we are chalking all of these up to “learning”. Who knows, maybe there is something to that last one. Could black mold spots signify that the blowgun needs to dry out? (we have been having LOTS of rain). But most of it sounds like pure animism (read: syncretism).

Then, Michael gratefully took the wild meat home, happy to have spent some time learning with friends.

If you are wondering, NO we didn’t cook the meat with lemon or MSG, we boiled it long and hard in coffee. Coffee is the best way to take away gamey, spent-a-long-time-baking-in-the-sun flavor.

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2 thoughts on “Pig Feast

  1. Great story! Thanks for sharing that insight into this cultural experience! I’d been to a few pig roastings in the Philippines and wish I had written some of the process down so I could knew how to do it today and what seasonings to use. I love roasted pig! Of course, those were raised pigs we ate, not wild ones shot with poison darts! I’ll be G had a great time tagging along and seeing that all done. Love you guys and praying for you too!

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