Beach Offerings 2

When I went down to the beach at 7am this morning, armed with my camera, there was a trail of offerings to far out of sight all along the beach – chooks, flowers, fruit especially watermelon, broken up shrines, candles and some intact offerings punctuated with carnations and dahlias and other flowers, indicating I should have been there several hours earlier.  Surely I didn’t miss the whole thing?   “Feb 2” is the date for the ceremonies honoring Imanja, but perhaps it is the first tide after midnight or something -or maybe it’s all day, and so we we will wander down tonight around midnight to see if it is, or whether I have missed it yet again, sigh – I might need to become a follower to know what’s going on when!

The location for this is certainly where there is traffic - we weren't even actually on the beach when we came across this one this morning.

I wasn’t even on to the beach when I came across this one – certainly in a traffic area along a path/highway – which is meant to increase the strength/value of the offering, I’m told.  Refer to my previous post on this. 

As I mentioned, some devotees even launch their offerings into the sea:

but maybe the waves were a bit robust this year – these were some of the wrecked craft along the beach this morning.  (dimensions between 1m and 1.75m) 


Imanja likes blue the colour of the sea, and pretty, shiny things.  There were two of these, 250m apart, with identical contents and arrangement.

This little shrine, standing about 30cm high, may have been launched but ran aground without tipping over.  I photographed each side, and then its location – note the dead chicken closer to the water, and the carnations strewn on the sand.

So clearly there had been a lot of activity several hours before I and others turned up.  I noticed lots of blue things along the tideline- blue tinted starfishes, real and styrofoam shape; lots of blue giftwrap  twirls and loopy decorations that in some cases were still attached to offerings or boats(wrecks).  There were little blue combs, blue candles, blue cellophane incorporated into plates of fruit, and even a soggy sponge cake with icing that had been sprayed blue with some graphic iced onto it in brown/chocolate?

I have no idea why a severed goat/kid’s head, but the pic next to it includes what looked like a pair of lacy black knickers in amongst the grain and fruit, and what looks like names on paper; The Virgin Mary in a small blue shrine was interesting, and in among the grain resting on intense blue tissue was the name and date “Jimena Vecanday, 18.06.1988”  Twenty two years is a long time since whatever happened to that person on that day.  And I was a bit underwhelmed by the group of young people who walked along collecting up mostly blue things – perhaps they were preparing their offerings for tonight but I thought it was a bit off to use something that has already been presented to Imanja, Queen of The Sea on her day.


3 Responses to “Beach Offerings 2”

  1. Sue Reno says:

    Really interesting, Alison, and a practice that I was previously unfamiliar with. Thanks for documenting this for us all to appreciate.

  2. Charles says:

    fascinating post, nothing like that happens on our shoreline

  3. alison schwabe says:

    Thanks for commenting Charles and Sue. A Brasilian friend commented to me today that on jan 31st, NYEve, the beaches all up the B coast are alive with lots of different groups of followers – drums, singing, many going into trances to connect with the spirit world – I could kick myself for not interpreting ‘2nd feb’ properly – but will do so next time! Another thing she said is that these offerings, which I have noticed appear at other times in the year too, not just that date – for many people need to be put into moving water – so rivers, coasts. I wonder about the chicken on the sand, top photo, though! Still another friend did tell me some need to place them where people pass by – and, well, there are some on street corners, too – so I guess it depends on which line you follow.

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