Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Friday, Liberia

Today is Good Friday and in good Christian fashion everything is closed. When I say everything I mean the entire town is closed. If there were doors at each end of town, they would be closed too. Went for a morning walk and ended up in the Good Friday parade, an event that is obviously as old as the country. Basically the whole town gathers on a side street close to the town centre and main church. Mannequins in the forms of Jesus (with a cross) and 3 others, who I expect are important but forget who they are, are held aloft on the shoulders of townsfolk. Jesus leads the procession but is first greeted by the other 3 mannequins who are then lowered in deference and then walked behind Jesus to form a processional. The route is lined by the 12 disciples ( I assume this since there are 12), all dressed in the robes of the time. Mary Magdalene then anoints Jesus´s feet with oil and then he is lowered and the cross removed and placed on the shoulders of another man who walks at the head of the procession. Then everyone starts to walk slowly towards the church, walking to the staccato beat of a snare drum that gears up into a full brass band crescendo before dying back again to the single snare. With the smoke and the noise and the moment I felt a religious moment come over me but I soon got back to the raison d´etre- shooting photos, and I got some good ones. The procession made its way into the main church where we parted ways, Jesus to the alter and Pablo to the pool!