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The Rooster/Bhaley/Wapa is great significance in Kirati culture

The Rooster/Bhaley/Wapa is of great significance in Kirati culture. Rituals, being an important aspect of the Mundhum, require elaborate procedures that have to be perfect and precise. The Mundhum/Muddum does not profess any ritual without logic or symbolism. The Wapa symbolizes two important aspects in Kirati culture.

1. Messenger to the Spirit world
2. Wall of Protection

The rituals of the Khambus are mostly based on traditional elements. Offering of the Wapa (during the Mangsewa) by way of “hitting” rather than “cutting” (example: Chamling, Bantawa, Thulung, Bahing Mangsewa), has been carried out for centuries even when sharp metallic weapons had not been invented. The symbolism regarding the Wapa can also be seen in Hetchakupa’s story where he uses the Wapa to send a message to his sisters and thereby reuniting with them. Hence, Wapa Sili is done in the honor of the Wapa. The importance of Wapa as a “messenger/offering” can be found in the Paru Sewa Mundhum where Sumnima and Paruhang constantly use the Wapa for rituals.

Wapa is important in Mangsewa to send a message to the spiritual realm of our ancestors. Sakela and Hokthung also require a Wapa for this exact same reason. The Wapa is first anointed with water and rice grains (acheta) three times. When the Wapa shakes it's head, it symbolizes the fact that the ancestors accept the offering. And as if to console it, the words used to the Wapa are:

“I am born of this earth, so are you,
You will perish in this earth, so will I,
Don’t be in pain, may you be blessed,
Do not consider this an injustice”

Many sub tribes (Thars) like the Thulungs use the Wapa even for burial purposes. A Wapa is let loose and wherever it digs with its beak is considered the best place for the deceased to be buried. The blood of the Wapa is considered as a Wall of Protection. This is quite like drawing a boundary whereby evil forces will not be able to sabotage one’s prosperity. This is quite like drawing the Pentagram (in Pagan culture), the Mandala (in Vajrayana Buddhism) or Lakshman Rekha (Hindusim). 

The following is the Chant for the anointing ritual of the Wapa:-

औनै,साकुमाङ दीपामाङ्चेउ,साकुमाङ दीपामाङ्चेउ, आइलो तीनाओ सानुङ्दा ओको छाङछाओ चि:खिम्दा आम्नो छुकु लोक्नी,लाङ्कु लोक्नी, सिरिओ तात्छा लोक्नी मेतुङ्चुङ हिदालो रूङरी चोक साखा मु:मिमोमिसालाङ्की ओको आम्नो खाइचाम्दी पेन्चाम्दी, आरवा, मान्लोकु दामा ओको अक् पौवाकुआ लोक्तीयाङकाओने || सिसोम तुक्मा मान्मुदानिन् || खोलुतुक्मा मान्मुदानिन् || सारीकोक्बु मान्मुदानिन् || माइसुमी मान्थामी मान्मुदानिन् || छियामा याबाइसानिन ||

- Kirat Khambu Language and Culture Study centre
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