Itako

by Vermillion

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"The Itako's procedure was as follows: rubbing the beads of her rosary together, she cited the posthumous name of the dead person and the date of his death together with the invocations needed to summon the spirit. These preliminaries over, she would pause and ask casually in a low voice, a number of leading questions. What relation was he to you? …Was he your father? …Your brother? …Did he die in an accident? or after a long illness? How many children had he, and how old is the youngest? "

All these questions were eagerly answered by the client who was often an old woman. Having thus ascertained into which type the dead person feel, the Itako launched into a rapid sing-song chant lasting five or ten minutes. It was not difficult to see that not a single one of the Itako were in any state resembling trance. They exhibited none of the usual symptoms of stertorous breathing and convulsively shaking hands. The chants they recited, moreover, were easily seen to fall into different fixed forms.

An ´Itako´ is a blind shaman woman from the north of Japan. The Itakos are able to connect with the other world, among their powers is talk to the dead and evil spirits. They are also capable of removing from a body any spirit that inhabits both the mind and the shell of a person. The ritual itself lasts several days, during this she is dressed as a bride because once she finishes she will marry the god with him she has gone into a trance. During the ritual, the Itako recites the songs that allow him to be close to his god. The Itako is surrounded by other older Itakos. Once the ritual is over, the elderly Itakos will decide which god the apprentice will join.

Most of Itako are women for a cultural reason. In Japan, women have always had the role of the weaker sex. A girl who was born blind or lost her sight would have great problems to survive, so they are taken to the Itako, achieving that thanks to shamanism could have an honorable way of earning a living. During the same ceremony, Itako's apprentice is dressed as a bride to indicate that she will marry a god. The ceremony is accompanied by continuous sounds of drums and bells that help the Itako to get the concentration required to achieve a trance. If an apprentice doesn't get contact with their spiritual being, they're forced to commit suicide and banished from the Fear Mountain "Osorezan".

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released October 20, 2018
Composed and recorded by Vermillion

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Vermillion Venezuela

Proyecto realizado por María Emilia Pérez (VEN), que surge a mediados del 2016 cuya propuesta trabaja con medios electroacústicos, composición asistida con computador y objetos sonoros. Las intenciones creativas se orientan a la búsqueda de sonoridades de diversas culturas asiatícas, su cosmovisión y tradiciones. ... more

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