My experiences in the past few days were quite astounding. While the group of students and I were visiting a priest and oracle, I had a view of the entrance of the shrine and occasionally I would hear drums being played from outside. At that time I would look to see what was going on and there would be several drummers, pounding out a rhythm on their drums. Eventually it was time to leave the shrine.
This was an experience worthwhile, both the men and women wore colorful clothing, yet the women were dressed even more-so vibrant. As the many drummers pounded the various sized drums, the women started dancing to it. The dancing itself had a ritualistic vibe to it, and I became immersed in the music, the thrumming of the drums, the singing and the spectacular dancing.
What was interesting is that none of the children got up to dance, many of the women did. There were also periodically “possessed” people dancing alone. Usually the dancers would dance in pairs, but these “spirits” that possessed these conduits would dance oddly, even wildly swinging limbs around as if fighting. Other than the women in the group men did go into dance, but not as often. All of the students danced as well, a friend, Ben had some sort of intense standoff between him and another dancer, more or less like dance competition between the two of them.
Even I, usually nervous in this situation, was not, I was just unsure I wanted to dance but did it anyway. I found this experience very fun and enjoyable. I doubt there will be another experience like this, that I will have the opportunity of seeing again.
By Curtis Durrenberger