Deuil (Thursday, 2010 October 21)

October 21, 2010

Last Saturday I went to a deuil, which literally means "bereavement, mourning", but is probably best translated here as "wake".

First there was a church service under these tents.

Matching fabrics is a done thing here. I saw a few t-shirts that said "[Name of person], we will never forget you", but I don’t know if that was from another wake.

Fashions on display included one of my favorites, the short-sleeve suit jacket:

Wizard robes were also fairly well-represented:

Naturally, I had just purchased a new set of wizard robes the day before.

I am standing here with someone named Celestin, who is J-C’s nephew (wife’s sister’s son). His shirt says Re-Ject.

At events like this, there are these great big circular dances. Boris has told me that the function of these things is to say a final goodbye to the departed and to tell the departed that now everyone is going to forget them.

It is also traditional at these sort of events to shoot firearms. If you don’t have a firearm, you can buy a shot from vendors who brought their own. I have asked and nobody seems to know the significance of this tradition, if any.

The last dances were populated by people wearing masks and costumes, such as this:

Celestin explained to me that these were various "secret societies", "somewhat like your FBI and CIA". They serve the king of the tribe, and go on intelligence missions. The new king introduces a new secret society, but the old one lives on, and pays tribute to its dead members like this.

Because they are secret, they have to cover their faces in public appearances like this.

Comments are closed.