Friday, February 02, 2007


Goddess of the Sea

Iemanja or Yemanjá is celebrated February 2 in Uruguay. The origins of this ceremony are African and it seems to have reached Uruguay through Brazil. Umbanda mixes African, Catholic, and spiritualist traditions.

We were driving home from dinner around midnight last night and saw activity had already started on Playa Ramírez, near Parque Rodó. We parked and walked down to the beach, where we could hear drumming. Small groups of people were digging holes in the sand and lighting candles. Other groups, wearing white clothing, had waded out into the Río, to send small boats to the goddess. Others were blessing their boats in a ritual with bells, candles, and prayers.

The boats are put to sea with various offerings-- watermelons, flowers, a chicken-- to the goddess. If the boat is blown back to shore it means the goddess has rejected the offering. If the boat disappears, she has accepted it.

For more information:
Discover Uruguay describes the Festival . From Uruguay also writes on Iemanja. An evangelical missionary seems appalled by Yemanjá in this detailed account. Studio Stonek has a page of photos.

Labels: , , ,

SURPRISING..YES"a lot of brazilian influence i guess,not uruguayan. anyway i love your blog. thank you,
from oz land an uruguaya
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?