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Belong to the Wind
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Each geographical position of a clan or one of its sub-groups, is associated with a wind. Together they make up a variegated whole. As diversities within one whole, each represents a separate identity. Over a hundred years ago the Meriam were moved to one village on the northwest side of Mer. Despite this people still identify with and 'belong to' the wind, the totems, the stars associated with their clan-based land-sea properties.

Birds or fish that appear at certain seasonal times have often become the emblem or totem of a particular group who live within that wind directional quarter. The Meriam people feel a family tie with their totem, usually a sea creature. Thus the turtle which comes and lays her eggs on the beaches at southwest time is one of the totems belonging to the clans of the southwest winds at Dauar, the second biggest island of the three. The mangrove that belongs to the clan of the northwest wind, the Komet, is a plant that sprouts in the northwest season.

Keywords: clans, Mer, totems, wind

Author: Sharp, Nonie