Saturday, August 24, 2019

VIII Village Festival

VIII - Festival of the Cloves

The village we were visiting when we took our first jungle hike was famous for its clove plantations. However, years ago the plantations had been destroyed by warring tribes. That said, the annual Festival of the Cloves was still held each year. The festival lasted for 2 weeks. During this time the tiny fishing village of 10 permanent residents turned into the mecca of the area. There were boats of every size and shape tied to trees on the shore. Large ones families had rented for the entire 2 weeks. 

There were also many of the smaller traditional boats moored there.

The first thing we saw when we approached the village was a huge white church with blue trim. There were streamers stretching from the bell tower to the ground.  

Lines of colorful clothes drying in the Amazon heat were strung across the sterns of the boats. 

Men were on the swim decks at the stern of the boats scaling fish. Women were washing clothes in the water as children swam and splashed about.

The boats were crammed with families. Dozens of hammocks hanging about. 

There was constant motion - people coming and going, preparation of food, laughter, and the general hum of families and crowds. The streets of the small town were lined with vendors selling their wares. The selection ranged from food to clothes to beer. One could round a corner and find someone singing (barely recognizable Americans songs) in Portuguese. There were make shift dance floors and bars blasting loud music. 

A soccer field was set-up with teams playing in what seemed to be a tournament. Between games, children would take the field playing their own games.

I think we were the only 'outsiders' there. That being the case, we became a source of interest. 

One of the most curious things were 4 tall poles. 2 decorated with toys and other items, the other 2 covered with fruits, with all the goodies starting 10-12 feet in the air. We learned that the poles were greased and there would be a competition to see who could climb the poles and grab the prizes.

The festival went 24 x 7. We went to sleep to the music and the crowds and awoke to the music, still blaring. 

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