Sangoma Celebration: A Celebration for Sangomas

This was the party tent. Tents are big business in rural South Africa.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the affair did not start until pretty late. The sangomas and such did not arrive until midnight. I've mentioned the fanfare and ritual which lasted about an hour and a half. Then there was quite a bit of eating and then the singing and dancing started and it didn't stop for about twelve hours. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. I watched a little bit of the dancing but only stayed for short periods of time. First, I am not a huge fan of dancing. During some occasions sure but I was just too tired for it especially since the dancing they were doing seemed extra exhausting. The idea was to move around the center pole of the tent in a circle while rotating at the same time. If that seems too easy, you also had to move rhythmically to the beat and clap. It seemed tremendously disorientating. Back to my original point though, the other reason I didn't stay for very long at any one time is because I think most people are ok with my presence but it seems I still make some people uncomfortable, especially older people and I didn't want to make their celebration unpleasant.

There were people who stayed in the circle until they achieved a trance-like state.

I have been part of and witnessed a few marathon parties. This one definitely ranks pretty highly on that list. I am not sure I could of kept up if I had tried. I woke up every two hours or so and would make the rounds to see what was going on. I could of course hear that it was still going on and upon inspection it was confirmed to be as strong as when it started. Additionally, everyone went until sunrise without alcohol which was surprising to me because there was quite a bit of it stockpiled for the celebration. I am not sure if that makes the feat more or less impressive but most parties I know of don't start with twelve hours of dancing before anyone has anything to drink. In the end, the alcohol was taken care of but that is a post for tomorrow.

These drums got to rest by the fire while others were used. I guess there needs to be a hot drum ready at all times.

Socks and Underwear: Sangoma Celebration: A Celebration for Sangomas

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sangoma Celebration: A Celebration for Sangomas

This was the party tent. Tents are big business in rural South Africa.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the affair did not start until pretty late. The sangomas and such did not arrive until midnight. I've mentioned the fanfare and ritual which lasted about an hour and a half. Then there was quite a bit of eating and then the singing and dancing started and it didn't stop for about twelve hours. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. I watched a little bit of the dancing but only stayed for short periods of time. First, I am not a huge fan of dancing. During some occasions sure but I was just too tired for it especially since the dancing they were doing seemed extra exhausting. The idea was to move around the center pole of the tent in a circle while rotating at the same time. If that seems too easy, you also had to move rhythmically to the beat and clap. It seemed tremendously disorientating. Back to my original point though, the other reason I didn't stay for very long at any one time is because I think most people are ok with my presence but it seems I still make some people uncomfortable, especially older people and I didn't want to make their celebration unpleasant.

There were people who stayed in the circle until they achieved a trance-like state.

I have been part of and witnessed a few marathon parties. This one definitely ranks pretty highly on that list. I am not sure I could of kept up if I had tried. I woke up every two hours or so and would make the rounds to see what was going on. I could of course hear that it was still going on and upon inspection it was confirmed to be as strong as when it started. Additionally, everyone went until sunrise without alcohol which was surprising to me because there was quite a bit of it stockpiled for the celebration. I am not sure if that makes the feat more or less impressive but most parties I know of don't start with twelve hours of dancing before anyone has anything to drink. In the end, the alcohol was taken care of but that is a post for tomorrow.

These drums got to rest by the fire while others were used. I guess there needs to be a hot drum ready at all times.

2 Comments:

Blogger presco said...

Love the picture of the drums at rest!

November 17, 2010 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Noah Prescott said...

Thanks, I like it quite a bit too.

November 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

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