Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inti Raymi, Part VII, the Adults

Sunday was the day for the adults.  I'm not sure when they started their "takeover" of the square but I heard it was around 10:30 or so and I didn't start taking photos until about 12:30.  This is much more serious than the kids have been for the past two days but there's still an air of festivity about it.  This is a festival so filled with the symbolism of generations that I couldn't begin to pick it all out--not even a small percentage of it.

There's the harvest festival part where they are thanking the appropriate deities for harvest.  Then there's the ceremonial reclaiming of sacred tribal lands taken by the Spaniards (that's why these always take place in the square across from the main church because the Spaniards always built the Catholic churches on sacred ground).  There's the whole "cowboys and Indians" part of it with the mastery of the whip and the chaps and hats.  Somewhere in there is the whistling that is designed to alter their state of reality and it can bring on hallucinations even without the assistance of the corn beer or sugar cane liquor they drink (if you haven't already watched one of the YouTube videos, you can hear the whistling by watching one of the first three on  the blog post Inti Raymi II).  It's all wrapped up in something that is very symbolic and meaningful to the indigenous tribes here.

This is just down the block from me when I was on my way to church at about 10:30.  The police are out in numbers.  These are just the ones at this intersection.  Everywhere I turned, there were more of them--soldiers, too.

This was shortly after I got home from church.  Yes, that couple is running to get away from the group headed their way.  Each of the village groups (I heard there were over 30 of them this year) have leaders who are in charge of keeping their group in order.  You'll see the men who are moving backwards in a row right in front of all the rest of the village men (and sometimes some women).  Their job is to keep order so those who have already been celebrating (or actually never stopped celebrating from last night) don't get carried away.  It's still a good idea to get out of their way.  They don't really mean to run people over but  sometimes they get carried away with themselves.

The first of the four or five leaders has just turned around and is ready to take off with the rest of the group and trot off to the outskirts of town.  By the way, I'm standing in my apartment doorway to get this batch of pictures.

You may notice that the man on the left has a rather nice-looking gourd in his hand.  It's not empty--well, if it is, it wasn't and it probably won't be for long.

This was the only wolf's head I saw.

I climbed up on the church steps to get some better shots today since it was much more crowded than the two days before and the adults are a little more overwhelming.

Even with as many people as are here, the park isn't totally overwhelmed.

Here comes another group from down the street.

It's a rather majestic view up into the mountains.  That's Imbabura Volcano in the background.

Just barely controlled chaos.

The police line up across the street to make sure this group turns the corner rather than going down the street.  I'm not sure why some turn and others are allowed to go straight ahead but I suspect there's a reason behind it all.

Trainees for the job of Village Leaders at Inti Raymis in the future.

I don't think this guy got any sleep last night.

Many more people than for the past couple of days.  I know it's pretty impossible to tell just how tiny that woman who is just left of center front is but I can guarantee she's no taller than four feet.

A few of the Army contingent.

There is something so moving about this woman that I can't quite get her out of my mind.

The same goes for the man in the uniform.

And to close, another pair of haunting eyes.

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