A traditional Kishwa wedding for the company managers!
Cécilia and Laurent, the two company managers at Nodova, got recently married in the beginning of last May, in France.
In celebration of this union, the women from the kishwa cooperative, as well as everyone in their village, prepared them a big surprise!
Indeed, Laurent and Cécilia are currently in Ecuador, preparing the upcoming 2020 Spring/Summer collection. In this occasion, the women put every effort into organising an authentic traditional Kishwa wedding for them!
Everything starts on Sunday morning, when our two lovers are still in their bed. In the far distance, you can hear a traditional Kishwa music, made from guitars, drums and quena (Andean flute). This music is getting closer and closer, and for a reason: it is the whole village, followed by musicians and the village’s priest/shaman, that enters together into the lovers’ room to start the ceremony!
In the Kishwa tradition, you don’t get a simple religious ceremony that lasts half an hour. No! It starts in the morning, when the bride and groom get food, then get dressed in traditional outfits. Once done, everybody walks, sings and dances on the way to the location of celebration. After that, a long lunch takes place. It lasts a whole day here!
So Cécilia and Laurent are getting dressed in traditional outfits by their godparents (in our case, volunteered parents of a past scholarship holder girl from our organisation). Flowing dress, braid, pearl necklace and bracelets for her, white suit, sandals, poncho and fedora hat for him! They are now ready for the procession!
During the (short) trek to the ceremony location, the traditional music played by the local band echoes in the crowd. When the priest does a signal, everybody starts to dance in circle. Sometimes, the bride and groom dance with them, sometimes they dance together in the middle.
Once arrived on location, women bring a huge bag full of true rose petals from various colours. They are used to draw the big ritual circle. The priest takes now the time to explain everything: the circle is split into 4 quarters, representing the 4 elements (earth, water, wind and fire) without what Man’s life on Earth would not be possible. This circle is drawn around a stone, centre of the surrounding telluric forces. Once the couple enters the circle, he testifies its union with Nature, and can’t break his bond.
In the centre of this circle is placed a basin full a “holy” water (with sugar in it, so the couple life will be « sweet ») where flower petals are floating. After an incantation in Kishwa made by the priest, the two lovers will, one after the other, “clean” its partner using this water, before kissing a cross made from pungent plants. This way, the future husband and wife prove they are ready to face the good times (flower petals) and bad times (pungent plants) of life, together. A pretty metaphor, isn’t it?
Of course, this step is the opportunity for the village to laugh out loud at the two French people who try their best to do it right!
To finish the ritual, the now husband and wife drink a shot of canelazo, a traditional liqueur made from sugar cane.
Long live the newlyweds!
After a last dance, everybody gets into the village hall to share a s delicious meal prepared by the village’s women.
Then, it is time for everyone to have a little chat!
This day has been one of a kind. Laurent and Cécilia sincerely thank the women from the cooperative as well as the whole village of La Calera for organising this incredible event. They are aware of the luck they have to live this traditional celebration, and understand at heart what it represents for the people living here.
The importance of two people bonding, Nature’s respect and the unbreakable link between Men and her we need to respect and maintain. Those are cherished values by those people and we will continue, through our work and our organisation, to help our best for this mentality to last.
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