November 8, 2011

All Souls' Procession- Purple riot

Angela getting made-up
I finally had a chance to post some of the photos from the All Soul's Procession! You can read about it on the website, but the reasoning behind what our group does at this event is that there is no Obon in Tucson for two reasons: we have no Japanese Buddhist temple and it's way too hot in the summer for an outdoor festival. So we do our obon dance at the All Soul's Procession, which is loosely based on Day of the Dead. And if you know anything about Obon, it's pretty similar idea in regards to revering those that have passed on before us in the past year.

Sunday was quite a wonderful day, with friends coming down from Phoenix in the morning, scarfing pizza, and sandwiches before we met everyone at 1:30. We had some snacks at the salon, but once we met at the procession at 5pm, no chance for food (Or bathrooms!) until much later, at the finale site or after the event.

Dressing people in yukata and being silly.
The "Obon" dancers all met at a local salon so everyone could  have help with hair, make-up, and dressing in various types of yukata, hakama, kimono, haori, happi, and all permutations of Japanese and Japanese-inspired clothing.

This time, there was one stylist doing hair (I had spiky purple feathers!), two people doing make-up, and three of us tying obi and hakama. It was awesome! We all arrived at the procession start behind the urn cart in plenty of time. I think there were about 16-18 of us dancing, with three of our best taiko players taking turns keeping a beat for the dancers. It was an amazing sight. 

Tish turning Karen's hair in to a work of art.

We have our own obon dance; it was invented by one of the founding members of Odaiko Sonora and inspired by our desert locale. In the dance, we depict surrounding mountains, sun, wind, rain, hoeing weeds, cleaning up and clapping to awaken the spirits. Odaiko Sonora conducts dance workshops before the procession each year so anyone that learns the dance can join our group in the line up. It's a beautiful sight to see all of these people doing the same dance over and over during the duration of the procession at this deeply inspiring event.

Nicole showing off some purple hair bling!!
My friend Yuko took the procession images and I took the salon images photos, so if you wish to borrow them, let me know!
Please enjoy,

One of our dancers daringly wore tengu!
Our cart for the taiko covered with strings of paper cranes.

All in a line with our tenugui (Towels) that we use as dance props. (I'm the far left in the arare kimono).

Check out the matching purple gloves! It got chilly Sunday night, so they were a great thing to have.

Typical of Japanese folk dance depicting people working, we are going through the motion of using a hula hoe to pull weeds!

The urn of offerings was in front of us. The people in costumes around it are urn attendants and have bird headdresses and wings that unfold like giant fans.

You can see some of the other costumes behind us, classic "day of the Dead" skull make-up is always popular at this event.

No comments:

Post a Comment