Sunday, September 6, 2020

Ryukyu Women Wearing White Robes

culture, Japan, Kouri-jima, island, Okinawa, robes, rituals, noro, women

What Should We Call Them?

They are a special sort of people, performing important rituals in the Ryukyu Islands.

Pictured above, are five of these ladies on the island of Kouri-Jima, yesterday morning.

Coronavirus has canceled many cultural events on the islands this year but, not this one.

It's obvious, watching these gals, they are praying so, it's some sort of religious event.

There are questions, to be asked, just to satisfy my curiosity and maybe, other folk's, too.

It's such a solemn-looking ceremony, I can't just say, "Hey Lady, what's going on?"

Another Island - More Women in White Robes

Afternoon provided an opportunity to photograph more ladies wearing those white outfits.

Back on the main island of Okinawa, in the village of Ogimi, similar ceremonies took place.

culture, Japan, Okinawa, Ogimi, prayer, beach, rituals, Noro, women, robes

 Many times, I've attended gatherings like this, and the question arises.

Are the gals in the white robes, Kaminchu, Noro, or Yuta?

Priestesses, of some sort, I guess you could call them. I'm sorta a shy individual.

Whenever I want to ask one of them something, I try to be polite and respectful.

"Nene, Can I ask you what that thing is, you're wearing in your hair?" 

To me, they are special people so, I call them Nenes.

Noro or Nuru, would be the terminology a local would consider these women to be.

From Wikipedia:

"Noro (祝女, sometimes 神女 or 巫女) (Okinawanヌール nuuru[1]) are priestesses of the Ryukyuan religion at Utaki. They have existed since at least the beginning of the Gusuku Period (late 12th century) and continue to perform rituals even today. They are distinct from yuta [ja] (psychics), but are classified as kaminchu ("godly people")."

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