Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fiesta de San Ignacio de Loyola

I nearly forgot. On our way back from a walk today, we reached our parish church as the mass ended, and a few minutes later, some Ecuadorian members of the congregation came out of the parish hall, and danced, while everyone else looked on. July 31st is the feast of San Ignacío de Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. Maybe there are lots of Jesuits in Ecuador? I don't know, but the women looked lovely in their embroidered blouses, with their shawls pinned to their huge straw hats.

I took one of the men for a morris dancer at first, because of his beribboned hat, except that I've never seen a morris man in a poncho and llama fur trousers. On the other hand, I never thought I'd see a devil figure, second-cousin to a Morris Fool or Beast, as master-of-ceremonies outside a Roman Catholic church, with the parish priest and congregation enjoying the show! We know the Spanish took Christianity to 'Latin' America: interesting to see that the cultural traffic isn't all one way.

Sorry some of the pics are a bit blurry, but I felt intrusive enough waving a camera behind the congregation. I wasn't about to weave through to a decent vantage point! And I'm not 100% sure I've got the right nationality (again - gatecrashing tourist) but I've searched online and in my precious Worldwide History of Dress, so .....90%?! If anyone can reassure me, or correct me, I'll feel much better!

While everyone else chatted, and waited to start, the man on the right gave the - fool? - devil? - a few pointers on his moves.

No comments: