January 27, 2006
The Herero's cross: Who is the holy one?
It was close to 10am when me and Nocki - my best informant until now (or maybe it would be better to call him a collaborator. I think the former word is quite inappropriate for this post primitive era) – stopped on the closed door of that house, just one of some others houses on that terrain. It was impossible to see inside, the windows were also closed and we could only hear the songs being followed by the hands clapping.
Suddentally the songs stopped and a man start to talk, at this time Noki was going to knock the door, but he stopped, I thought it strange, but any way I just proceeded preparing the recorder on my pocket. So fast they stopped the songs started again and finally Noki knocked the door. A man opened very fast and came out side, closing the door behind him so that way the spirits of prophecy would not go out. The man was holding a small plastic bucket with some water inside, Noki opened his hands to take some water and I did the same, the man putted some water in ours hands and also speared water in our faces, now we were cleaned the man knocked the door again and we could go in.
As we entered Noki took me to the left side of the door and I could see in the other side of the room a small flag saying “Joshua Church” on the wall. The place was dark, hot and very small, there were approximately 45 people: 8 men, 25 women and 12 kids. The women stays on one side of the church, facing the door and the men stays on the other side, the door side, but because there is very few men they just stay on the corner of the left side of the door. At men right stays the kids and also some women that occupied from there until the main prophet (bishop’s wife) on the other side of the church, vertically on the middle of it.
Beside bishop’s wife place there is one empty chair waiting for the moment when the Bishop will come and remain seated until his preach. In the their front there is a table with a bible – that remained closed, except when one of the pastors wanted to find some thing during the prayer and during the offerings time, when the bible is putted on a chair opened in the middle –, a 10 candle support that looks like a tree with just four white candles burning and a little smelling candle burning to maintain all curses away from the church, specially if will go to the church and some one witched you, so this witch will not have power when you are there. On the floor, in the front of the table there is another 10 candle support where there is just one white candle, completing, with the others four candles, the only light we had inside.
Almost every one is using a white and blue uniform with a star in some place of the clothes. The men were wearing just a long white t-shirt with long blue pants and the woman had a white dress with a blue thing on the head like a nun.
Every one stays seated in a circle leaving the middle of the church free so people can dance. There is no song without dancing and no encouragement word without song. And the service goes on like that, any one can speak and any one can start to sing don’t matters if some one is talking already, but only the pastors – women and men – can prophesy. But there weren’t so many prophecies – the only one was concerning a monkey that was following a lady when she went out of the church – every one was talking about paining for the others mistakes.
I don’t know but I felt like my presence there was intimidating that people, they were just looking too much Christians to me and that was not what I had heard before I went there. But when you stay more than 2hours on a place like that where every ones spirits are excited by that dark, hot place is impossible to don’t catch any thing, and there it was what I was looking for: the Ancestors.
It was just before the Bishop’s word, he was already came into his chair, and was there with his eyes closed – and he stayed like that all service, but not for the anthropologist who always managed to see the opposite during the prayers when every one has to close their eyes – when one of the pastors, also one of the quiet ones on the church – didn’t dance, almost didn’t sing and also didn’t clap too much –, went to the middle of the church, where the dances goes on, and started to pray so people could have faith on Jesus, and how surprise I was when I sow the best ones to help him was his ancestors. He prayed so the ancestors could leave this message to Jesus, and than Jesus could take it to God, for sure is a long way.
Maybe the ancestors are close to our world, they know us better, after all they are from our family or they can fly higher and faster than ours prayers, the thing is that here there is just one God but a lot of different holy ways too get to him and leave him ours requests, and once you choose on way, this choice is just temporally, once you or your bishop sees this chosen one is not attending the requests, you can just take the other one. So the question is not about who the almighty one is, but who the Holy one is: The Holy Fire and its ancestors or the Holy Jesus and his saints?
Posted by josue at January 27, 2006 10:59 AM