Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Obaa

Happy Obaa
Originally uploaded by graffkeith
The Ungami, sometimes pronounced "Unjami," Matsuri or festival is held each August in tiny Shioya, part of the Ogimi Village governmental unit along Okinawa's northwestern coast.

Okinawa's indiginous religion is called "So-Sen-Su-Hai" and is a form of ancestor's worship that incorporates a little bit of Taoism, Shamanism, Buddhism with a couple of other "ism's" thrown in for good measure. This festival is noted for it's prayer rituals. Prayers are primarily the duty of the women and every other year, they hold special "Women Only" prayer vigils in sacred groves.

The village elder, a 94 years young lady was for lack of a better way of putting it, the Master of Ceremonies for this prayer session. Here we caught her giving us just a little hint of a smile.

Though they drove her up the hill to the shrine, she still was able to navigate the incline and steps with minimal assistance. Okinawan's are noted for their longevity. My guess is this old gal will be with us for a few more festivals.

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