Friday, May 7, 2010

No, I am not catholic.

I am not apologizing for not blogging in forever because it drives me nuts when people do that. I hope that you don't mind but I am going to blog a little more about Ecuador because there is one specific thing that I have been wanting to talk about.
So, I said I had a very unique experience, and I can finally upload the pictures to tell about it.
So we were going to spanish school, and in the evenings they offer cultural classes. We decided to go to the one about the Chamanismos because we knew very little (or some of us, nothing) about it. So we went and learned about the healers in the amazon tribes, called chamanismos. They would diagnose and heal the people in the tribe. They especially were used in "cleaning" of people (mostly children) who had caught bad air.

Our teacher actually had some practice in this sort of cleansing, though she is not a Chamanismo, she is a corendera (women who still practice the cleansing) So at the end of learning about it, she demonstrated on me.

The cleaning consists of using a beautiful bouquet of natural plants.

First, she breaks the plants just enough to release the smell and the person inhales 3 times to help them relax. Then the bouquet is used to hit (for lack of a better word) the patient with bad air, all over the body.

Next they take an egg and rub it all over the body. It is seen as a life, and it is absorbling the bad air out of you. The egg is then cracked in a glass of water to show the condition of the person's spirit. Don't even worry that mine was tranquil. Yeah, what can I say?

After that, they take this water/flower/alcohol mixture and spit it all over you (gratefully for me, I just put flower extract on my hands and ran it through my hair and we called it good)

Finally, to finish up they draw 3 crosses made of ash and water on your forehead, back and stomach. Sorry for the inappropriate-ness, I had to capture the full experience.

Don't worry, we asked and its not dark magic and I am not catholic now (at least not to my knowledge).

I actually really loved getting to expericence this and learn about a whole new culture and way of thinking. Big shout out to the little boy who let me take his picture for this blog. His mom said that he loves to be cleansed and everytime they are in the city he asks to go there.


  1. cool. also a little weird. but cool. i am glad you are cleansed. and i think you are catholic.

  2. Wow! That's so cool, and just a crazy experience. I'm glad you didn't have that lady spit alcohol stuff all over you.