Sunday, February 7, 2010

local color


I went to church yesterday. Some of you are now gasping, hand over mouth, worried about the people who attended with me. I can assure you there were no thunderbolts coming through the ceiling, and everyone walked away fine. Calm down, now.

In the past decade Marieta lost both her husband and oldest son, so she had a small, open-aired church built here on Harnas to honor them. It has a stone frame, tin roof, and simple wooden benches inside. It's really quite nice. Every Sunday at 11-ish (African time) the Bushmen gather there along with any volunteers who want to attend, Marieta, Frikkie, and anyone else who wants.

There's no director, but somehow they start singing. Of course, most of the Bushmen are illiterate, so they just do it from memory. It's really quite amazing. Then at some point a Bushman preacher gives a short sermon (translated line by line into English by Frikkie), then more singing. Then they load themselves back onto the trailer pulled by a tractor and sing all the way back to their village.

It's the only church I know of that allows animals in. As the singing began, Klippie the giraffe showed up, drawn by the noise of people (remember that she thinks she's a human), and she hung out for the whole time eating leaves off a tree to the side. I'll include a picture.

I filmed some of the singing. It's really great how they all sing parts without any music in front of them. Clapping, swaying, dancing around. It was very cool. (And again, no human or animal was injured in the making of this film.)
video

No comments:

Post a Comment