Monday, February 05, 2007



We first saw the worshipers of Iemanja, the goddess of the sea, around midnight on February 1st. We returned the next day to see the big gathering.

In the afternoon, it was quiet. Vendors sold candles, styrofoam boats, and other offerings for the goddess. The remnants of the previous night's offerings-- broken boats, waterlogged watermelons, floating flowers-- cluttered the surf line.

By sunset, the beach was mobbed. Celebrants lit candles and left flowers at the statue of Iemanja. Hundreds of people waded into the Río to release their offerings. Individual congregations staked out small areas on the sand, and each seemed to have their own ritual. At one, a woman held a large shell and wailed. In another a teen-aged girl staggered in a trance. Many performed symbolic cleansings. Others danced. Drums beat and bells rang all around us. Uruguay is a very secular country, so this mass spiritualism was surprising.

See some of my photos from Iemanja
or a video from the first.

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i'm korean ..fine
Vile African heresy.
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