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Elizabeth Gurrier - The ceremony

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The ceremony

twisting snaky road
to Jeméz Pueblo
compact settlement
on red stone mesa

composed of small
frugal homes, no trees
exposed to the elements
blessed for their survival

arriving at ceremonial area
dressed for the cold
heavy swollen grey sky
whipped slivers of sleet
stinging face and hands

unrestricted spiraling
raw wind blasts
thick red dust
plunging grit into ears, nostrils
smoke from the Kivá
merge into gyrating atmosphere

Pueblo men ceremonial dress
feathers-leather-beads-muted colors
pound the earth joining complex steps
in soft deer skin slippers
powerful feet produce rhythm
driven by throbbing drums
vibrating chants pulsate
with ever present wind

sweating bodies of dancers
unaware of comfortless turmoil
around them – an ancient
perpetual ritual performed

 

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