Snow on peaks

Snow on peaks

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Santiago and the Devil's Crosses

Santiago and Beto

On Thursday, Dec. 12th when the dancing was done and most of the barbacoa had been eaten and the tesguino drinking was in full tilt, the Anglos lay in the shade of the hut sleeping and trying recover from being up all night and too much coffee and then tesguino.

The Alter
The Alter was still in the patio--that is the structure remained. The sacrificial bowls of meat had been removed much earlier and the cooked goat meat added to the beans. The copal incense bowl still lay centered under the altar. And the small crosses in the dirt at the rear of the alter along with the miniature offering bowls remained, but the cloth had been removed along with the decorative beads leaving only the wooden frame and the ritual objects on the ground.

Earlier in the evening on Wednesday Santiago had told me that the small crosses and tiny offering bowls on the ground were the Devil’s offerings (Give the Devil his Due). The devil could also eat without coming up to cause mischief or harm one of the humans.

At any rate Santiago late in the evening on Thursday told me he was going to ask for permission to take the “Devil’s Crosses”. There would be one for me, Beto and himself. Early Friday morning I was in the capella dressing and I heard Santiago ask for the crosses. (I could not see so I do not know who he asked but one of  the “important” elders). I could hear the response, in Spanish, which I understand as a polite but firm, NO! The responder explained that it would not be proper to take the Devil’s crosses because it could go badly for us. To take a cross might cause us bad luck on our travel home—something bad might happen to us.

Nabor ready to leave

Given the reason; I no longer wanted one of the small crosses.

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