Friday, May 25, 2012

Blessing a New House

One of the lovely things I got to experience when I went to the open house this past Saturday was the ceremony for blessing a new home.  We were told that just as a baby is baptized, so, too, must a house be baptized.

The Shaman burned flowers, salt, and a couple of other things I forgot in the flat-ish container on the ground in front of him.  He then used the fresh flower he has in his hands to sprinkle holy water on the small bouquet of flowers and herbs he has on the sidewalk in front of that container.  (Take a quick look at the length of the hair on the woman on the very left of the photo.  I really wouldn't want to have to take care of it but it sure is beautiful.)

The Shaman has taken the wrap off his hair for the ceremony.  The man standing next to him, with the microphone, was very helpful.  The Shaman spoke in Kichwa and this man translated it first into Spanish and then into English.  I would have had absolutely no idea what was going on if he hadn't done that for us.

After the Shaman went into the house and blessed the four corners, he came back out and joined with the band to play traditional music.  The woman just stepping onto the front porch is one of the owners of the new house.

One of the things I failed to get a photo of was the blessing of Mother Earth and each of the responsible parties.  If you will look closely, you'll see what appears to be a water bottle hanging from the ceiling of the porch.  That's not water.  It's a very strong alcohol made from sugar cane.  It's in a water bottle because it's homemade so it didn't come in a liquor bottle.  When the rest of the festivities were completed, the Shaman, the owners of the house, the Godfather (the building company owner), and the Guardian (the man who built it) each were given, one at a time, a small glass of this potent brew--probably no more than a shot or so.  They were to pour half of it on the ground (Mother Earth) and then drink the other half.  The looks on some of the faces were pretty priceless.  As I said, I was sorry not to have gotten photos of that.

 After the singing came the dancing:

 There's no way to capture the grace of these women.  They were simply lovely.

It was a lovely way to spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.

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