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The village turned out en masse, dressed in traditional tribal clothing, to play their part. A rare event, a ‘stone pulling’ ceremony occurs only every five years or so. A large slab of stone is quarried from the local hill side and placed on a sled of bound tree trunks.
Vines are attached to pull the immense sled a number of miles along country lanes to a parade ground, where it will be placed upright and engraved, to commemorate (on this occasion) the work of a youth group.
At the head of the rope pulling are the women and children, holding the rope up to show their part in the procession. The ladies often carried a conical woven bag on their backs, with supplies for the impending feast, when the stone finally arrives at its destination.
Much farther down the ropes, the village men were straining every sinew to drag the huge stone to its destination. Their large headdresses shimmering and shuddering with every heave of the vines and ropes. Excited gun shots fired from archaic rifles rang out, as did the chanting of heaving men. Take a look below…