Monday, August 17, 2015

A Funeral with Watermelons and Turbans

On our way out of Shuhe, we suddenly encountered a mass of people. A member of the Naxi ethnic group, my guide instantly recognized the reason for the gathering - a funeral. As I quickly closed the doors of the car, I saw some large floral wreaths being carried away (see bottom photo for a glimpse of the back end of one wreath near its upper left side). Instead of a hearse, the pallbearers carried the blanket-covered body through the street. Some of the mourners wearing white turbans knelt on the street right next to where I quickly had positioned myself. I spotted a framed B&W photo of a Naxi woman in her traditional clothing, presumably the deceased. 

Women were together in a line, and men formed another.  Snacks were available, such as watermelon and sunflower seeds. A woman even came up and offered some of the refreshing summer fruit to me. 

Carrying the body through the street
Funeral procession, with the floral wreaths in the distance and blanketed body near the center

Almost as quickly as the procession had arrived on the street, it had moved onward. It was time for us to drive to the nearby Baisha town to see the embroidery.

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