Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dancers and Characters at the Hamahiga (綱引き) Tug-O-War

Tug-O-Wars are Held Everywhere in Okinawa


 Last night, on Hamahiga Island we witnessed the usual Ryukyu style tug-o-war.

Except for the size of the rope used, they are all pretty much the same.

Some challenges are made, before the ends of the ropes are looped together.

Teams from the east side of town pull against those from the west.

What made this one different, was the people we met along the way.

young girls costumed as elderly

Young gals who were proud of making themselves look like old hags.

funny character costume

There was a little guy making believe he was the village idiot.

costumed festival goer

Not sure if this was a man or, woman, I kept my distance.

costumes at festival

They were, all friendly people and didn't mind the camera, being pointed their way.

young girl in costume

This gal was so proud of her blackened tooth, I had to take a second photo of her.

costume at festival

People were decked-out in all kinds of bright colors and dancing in the streets.

elderly woman, costume

This sweetheart was heading into her house by the time I caught-up with her.

But, she ran back out the gate so I could take her picture, dancing outside the yard.

costumed festival goers

The gal on the far left had some huge Dolly Parton-looking boobs on earlier.

She kept apologizing because they disappeared, somewhere along the way.

So, I told her not to worry.  I don't have any boobs, either.

That got them all laughing.

Michael Jackson costume and mask

Somebody told me one of those characters was Michael Jackson.  I'd have never guessed.

men dressed as royalty dance

Late in the evening, way after the tug-o-war, formal dances took place.

women in black kimonos

Some of these same gals might have been characters, earlier.

Face recognition, is something I must have been born without.

 That means, I'll probably never get hired by the FBI.

young women dance in kimonos

Seeing all the costumes and, watching the dances, was more fun than the tug-o-war.

The tsunahiki (綱引き) is an annual tradition in many villages throughout Okinawa.

They are held in the belief it will be a prosperous year for crops and good health.

The people of Hamahiga just, know how to do it in style !

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