Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dancing in an Ancient Village

So yesterday at around 11:00 we headed ashore to find the local dance show
that would be happening for the cruise ship that came in this morning. After
asking a few locals how to get there we started up the dirt trail that lead
to the old archeological area where they would be performing. As we were
walking up, a pick-up truck came up behind us filled with the performers.
They asked us if we were walking up to the show and when we said yes they
offered to give us a ride! We said yes and jumped in the truck. When we
arrived we walked around the site while waiting for the performance to
start. After walking across a short bridge made of logs and sticks we found
ourselves wandering around a big open courtyard with different layers of
rocks. The courtyard happened to be the home of an ancient tribe that died
off in the early 1800's. There was three different columns and on each
column there was two to four layers of rock. Depending on your importance,
you were told to live in a certain spot. In ancient times there were houses
on top of the rock layers where the people lived. There was a small statue
on the highest rock layer accompanied by smaller still carvings on two
pieces of wood. We assumed that this was where the priest or leader lived (I
learned about the houses and stuff when we followed a tour group after the
dances for a little while). After exploring a little bit more we walked back
across the bridge and back to the place where the dancers would be
performing. The backdrop by the way, was a huge tree that is over a 1
hundred years old. It has so many thick roots that it looks like multiple
trees put together! Anyways, when we got back to the 'stage' there were tons
of tourists. Much more than we expected to come on a boat. We never saw
their boat, but we are guessing that they came on a cruise ship and not a
little boat like in the Galapagos. Once everyone found a rock to sit on the
dancing began. There were three four men and one woman. They were all
dressed in grass skirts and headdresses and had lots of palm fronds. They
performed the traditional pig dance and war dance. The dancing was
accompanied by the men who were saying/singing chants in a low grunting
voice. It was really cool. When the dancing ended we followed an English
speaking tour for a little while before heading back to the boat. Since it
was about noon, we decided to stop at a little tent with people serving all
sorts of food on the side of the road for lunch. We ended up getting chow
mien and it was really good. Finally, we got back in the dinghy and headed
back to the boat. Since we hadn't seen any sharks in this bay, we all went
swimming before school started again. Once our swim was over we all took
turns showering off the back off the back of the boat. I ended up slipping
down the steps and cutting my back. It didn't hurt and I didn't know that it
was bleeding until Mommy looked at it and said "Okay! Your fine, just rinse
off, your fine, your fine". After having a slight panic attack because there
were a few wasps I managed to get inside. It was really pretty funny. Well,
we are just leaving the bay now and are going to a bay about 30 minutes away
called Anaho. It is known for being a beautiful bay so we are excited to get
there and check it out. Cole is negotiating to watch a movie...looks like
he's watching Nemo. Well I want to watch too, so I gotta go, bye!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What perfect timing, Cammi, to be given a ride by the performers! I'm surprised that you did not join them in the dance! Was it similar to a Hawaian hula? The costumes certainly sounded like it. Was the hundred year old tree a banyan tree? Hope a different anchorage will eliminate the wasp problem.
Love you,