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Monday, April 08, 2013

Spirited Away

Yesterday was evidently an auspicious day, as the Old Cultural Center on Wualai Road hosted a spirit appeasment ceremony. Lasting all day, these  uncommon events attract local shaman of all persuasions and are a great opportunity to learn about customs and culture of this area. I missed this one, but was able to attend the one at the Lan Na Old House Museum last year at this time. The course of events is similar, so I thought I'd share those photos, which did not get posted last year.

It starts with offerings to the spirits of the site: food, libations (rice wine here and young coconut water), flowers, etc. Dancing followed and the rice wine flowed, taking everyone to a mellow state. Some enhanced the trance with a swing on a suspended cloth, round and round until they collapsed.

After lunch, the afternoon was spent entertaining the spirits with symbolic activities such as 'horse' riding, fishing, catching elephants, etc. Other appointments kept me from returning, so sadly, no photos of shaman tackling elephants to amuse the spirits.

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