Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blessing the Wells for Planting

A Malian festival not far from my village where they take a statue of the Virgin Mary to all the wells and bless them so that they will be full during rainy season and give good crops.
Riding donkeys with clothes on them.
Partying Malian style, on donkeys and with guns.
Everybody is drunk off millet beer! I felt like I was walking to the big house, and did yell "Go Blue" a couple times. I saw this with a Peace Corps Response Volunteer who is now near my site, and she had done 2 years of Peace Corps in the Kayes region so seeing drunken Malians was incredibly strange to her and she didn't know how to act. It's more common in my area because they are primarily Christian/Animist, and because they are Bwa (who really like millet beer).

The Virgin Mary dressed in Malian fabric with her face on it for the celebration.

Besides the obvious holidays like Christmas and Easter and such, it was cool to see how Christians have incorporated a traditional holiday like blessing wells, which has nothing to do with the Virgin Mary, into a Christian holiday and therefore converted more people. I always knew that it was done, it was just interesting to see it in a place where Christianity came only within the last couple hundred years and people still understand the true reason (and care about the true reason) for doing what they do, unlike the Easter Bunny or Santa Clause.

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