witchcraft and jarocho

My Friday was a bit magical!  First I found a football (soccer) friend who actually likes football and not just football players and we’re off to see Barcelona play las Chivas on August 6th.  Hooray!  And Manu Chao is coming in concert and I’m going to that too!  Second, late afternoon whiled away chatting with one of the tenants I work with and Gloria and the subject was brujeria (witchcraft).  One day back home in her pueblo, years ago, her aunt’s stomach swelled and swelled as though she were pregnant but she was not, her stomach swelled and her legs bent and she began to appear as a giant toad, dark magic and the curandero told them the ceremony they needed to carry out to rid her of the evil, and said that when the animal within emerged from her mouth as the cure was working it would run immediately to the home of those who had set this upon her, and if the family followed it they would know who had cursed her, but they allowed its dark shape to flee without discovering where it went, prefferring to leave vengeance to God…her grandmother died of brujeria, having a small spot over her lip and modern medicine could do nothing to cure it as it spread and spread across her face consuming flesh, eating up her left eye and when she did go to the curandero it was already too late and nothing could be done.  She had been told as a child she would die after going through seven metates, and as the seventh dwindled her spirit and body also…

Gloria believes in God not in witches, but told of the department in Honduras called Olancho where vengeance is a way of life and entire families have been killed, one by one by one in a cycle of killing for a killing for a killing, and so when anyone does anything terrible it is asked of them tu vienes de Olancho o que?  And fathers will not allow their daughters to marry men who come from Olancho…

And the evening, despedida for Kique and Paige and the night was warm and the orange trees blooming and the beer cold and the carne asada hot and delicious, and Ceci and her friends played jarocho for us, pics coming soon…jarocho comes from the east coast of Veracruz, played on the jarana, a mezcla of indigenous and African beats, a music of resistance, drums were outlawed by the spaniards who knew their power of rebellion so the music is entirely played on the voice and the jarana, but a wooden platform is set up and the percussion comes from the feet of the dancers…it is the same beat hammered out as that of Afro-cuban music and much speeded up the samba from Brazil.  I learned to zapotear a bit, then sat on the front porch of Kique’s house with friends, my Bohemia in my hand talking shit of course, my nonexistant Surena tattoo, and my DJ name la green eyes, or la juedilla de la guerrilla…am a little fragile this morning but life is so good!

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