[Yami Language][Culture][Sacrificial Rites][Photo]


  Fish in Yami are divided into two categories: oyod fish (for women to eat) and raet fish (for men to eat). The raet fish have a stronger fishy taste than the oyod fish. According to a Yami legend, some women vomited after eating the raet fish, so they no longer eat it. As a result, this type of fish is reserved for men. Men can eat the fish meant for women, but women cannot eat men's fish. Some fish has a very strong fishy taste and thus is only for the elderly to eat because they believe catching fish is hard work. It would be a waste to throw it away for its bad smell. Nowadays young people also eat this type of fish while drinking alcohol.

  Fish can also be divided into ordinary fish and flying fish. Flying fish can be eaten by anybody. The flying fish season is from February to May. During this period of time flying fish are dried, salted, and stored, so that they can be eaten later. The ceremony celebrating the end of flying fish season is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This means all the flying fish have to be finished by this day.

   January and February is the time for eating ordinary fish. During the flying fish season, there are many taboos. For instance, weaving, mowing grass, planting yams, eating tangerines, or bringing wood ear (a kind of fungus) home are not allowed. After eating flying fish, one has to wash one's hands and dishes with specially prepared water. The fish bones also have to be discarded at a special place.









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