Friday, June 7, 2019

#fotoflash Jun 7 2019: Rituals

My contribution to Friday Foto Flash Fiction...

Photo courtesy of Sheri Waddell
It was time and Nofoto was ready. She'd been ready for months. No, years. She'd been groomed for this moment since birth. The ladies around her bowed and backed away. She'd been pampered, perfumed and dressed. Flowers adorned her hair, her body was encased in a ceremonial robe and multiple scarves.

She wasn't afraid. The Goddess had prepared her for this path. Outside the cavern entrance, the beating of the drums began. Their tempo increased and grew in intensity. An outsider might call them frenzied. At just the right moment she stepped forward and stood under the cascading waterfalls.

Her people cheered and tossed flower petals into the waters swirling below her. The drums continued, louder and more strident, calling to her. She held her arms up, closed her eyes, and chanted. The crowd below joined in creating a choir of epic proportions. The musical opera filtered through the trees surrounding them, rose to the mountain tops, and echoed far away.

Then all sounds ceased. She dropped her arms, opened her eyes, and smiled at the vista below. Nofoto watched as the Isangoma stepped to the forefront. The Isangoma danced, joined by the drums. A chant arose from the dancing figure and she joined in harmony.

Two women carried a litter with a young child on it to the front of the group, placing it beside the Isangoma. Nofoto's voice grew stronger as it merged into the same words being sung by the Isangoma. The women in the group joined the chorus as the men formed a circle around them.

A wind whistled through the trees, gaining strength as the voices grew louder. All the women began to dance and Nofoto whirled on the ledge overhead. The chaotic scene continued for over an hour until both Nofot and the Isangoma sank to the ground.

The child let out a cry and his mother shouted in joy. "He is healed!"

Nofoto raised her head and shared her happy tears with those assembled below. The Isangoma stood, raised her hand and pointed at to the sky. Nofoto knew she had passed the final test. She was now in line to be the next Isangoma.

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1 comment:

  1. A nicely written ritual. You must have found some research!


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