Mr. Esser arranged a dance for us of about 20 natives in costume. It was done especially so that we could take pictures. The costumes of both men and women were colorful far beyond anything at Bontoc or anywhere else that I have been.
The dance was held in front of the wooden temple at Kulawi.
I first took individual color stills of each one, then several of the men together, and then the women.
The dance was slow and was accompanied by a chant. They formed a ring with an arm of each man around the neck of a woman. I took 100 ft 26 mm Kodachrome of the whole thing and close ups of the couples. We paid them each 1/2 guilder at the end.
The King, or Magao, then asked me to take a picture of himself and his family, which I did and will send him copies.
The whole performance was well worth coming for and a wonderful subject for color pictures. I took 24 color shots of the performance. Hugo was so enthusiastic that he wants to come back here with me in June to see and photograph the festivals which occur all through that month. Mr. Esser will be here and has promised to go around with us if we do.
No answer yet from David. Hugo and I had the same idea separately, — that this is what would happen if anything went wrong with Dr. Fairchild. The others would not answer thinking we might as well enjoy ourselves until we arrived at Macassar.
Hugo and I cut and filed the films we developed yesterday, completing the job in late afternoon.
Dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Esser. The latter, a native of Manado spoke no English so did not take part in the conversation. We learned a good deal from Mr. Esser. It seems that the dance and song this morning was a “song of praise” used for distinguished guests. It is also used for taking leave of the dead 10 days after death. A married woman does not take part in the dance, but her husband may. The women this morning were from 14 to 17 years old.
An unfortunate custom consisted of the removal of all front teeth of women. This is founded on tradition and Mr. Esser could give no reason for it. It accounted for the slightly sunken look of the girls mouths which I noticed this morning.
Mr. Esser said he had asked for 12 men and 12 women but that only 8 of each responded. The reason was that some were afraid to leave the rice harvesting for fear of displeasure of the harvest god, since there is no dancing during the rice harvest. He said that the ones who took part would probably make offerings of propitiation.
Hugo was more anxious than ever to come back in June.