Monday, August 8, 2011

Saturday in the Park

We live about a block from Bicentennial Plaza, a compact sunken park with playground, coffee kiosk, ping pong tables, and stages. It's one of our favorite places to spend an afternoon, or even an hour in the morning playing frisbee. This Saturday we stopped in our tracks when we saw tribal dancers preparing for a ceremony.

We can't tell you much about them, but it appeared this was a ceremony of thanksgiving. They laid out flowers and foodstuffs on cloths, then two women used smudge pots to draw smokey circles above those items, which remained at the center of their group dance.

The dancing commenced with the sound of a conch shell being blown, around which they then danced, to drumbeats. Periodically, a leader would recite a long string of words, which we took to be thanks.

One of our favorite aspects of this was the involvement of all ages: from one-year to seventy-something.

And, of course, the costumes were spectacular!

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