Friday, February 28, 2014

Water Drumming and the Voynich

One thing that has bugged me throughout the study of the Voynich manuscript is that there is absolutely no drum depicted anywhere in its pages. This struck me as very odd, given that everything else points to women conducting some sort of sacred rite. For any shaman, from time immemorial, a drum has played a key role. It mimics a fundamental phenomenon occurring everywhere in the universe: rhythm. Making a rhythm lets humans join meaningfully in the fantastic riot of life and death that we call nature. So where oh where are the drums in the Voynich? Here again, while I've been searching for breadcrumbs, the Voynich has thrown a honking loaf at my head.
The women and the water ARE the drum. 

Here are some examples of this prehistoric tradition.

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of a large number of islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). From these remote, northern tropical islands comes an extremely unique and rarely seen tradition, called water music. Dressed in traditional costumes of flowers and leaves, a small number of women wade into the water up to their waist, stand in the shape of a half moon and begin to play. The water is beaten in rhythmic dance of bodies and waves.


The water itself is the instrument producing a wide range of sounds in intoxicating rhythms, with pieces titled "The Sound of Thunder", "Big Whale Fish Playing With Small Whale Fish", "Waves Breaking on the Reef". The music evokes the sounds of thousands of years of ancestors, environment, and culture.The sounds they reproduce are the sounds of life and renewal: washing, bathing, collecting shellfish: interweaving the past completely with the present. This form of music has been around from before Man left Africa and is still performed by the pygmy tribes of CAR - and in the Melanesian islands. More here.

Baka Forest People

Baka Forest People women playing the river like a drum. The Baka people, known in the Congo as Bayaka (Bebayaka, Bebayaga, Bibaya), are an ethnic group inhabiting the southeastern rain forests of Cameroon, northern Republic of Congo, northern Gabon, and southwestern Central African Republic. 

Africa: Water Drumming from boothfilms on Vimeo.
Voynich Manuscript
Here are the women drumming water in the Voynich. With this method, down in the subterranean passageways, they could have communicated with each other over miles of dense, dark forest.

Ruskeala Caves

Ruskeala marble quarries are situated twenty five kilometres to the north from the city called Sortavala close to the old village Ruskeala.

Imagine what water drumming would sound like here.

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