Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Flagellants of Holy Week: Nandaime, Nicaragua

Medieval Flagellants
In Medieval Spain, as elsewhere, self-flagellation during the period of Lent and Holy Week was a fairly common self-purification practice.  The idea was to drive sin from the body through beating it.  This is still practiced in places, but one of the most interesting variants is found in a little Nicaraguan town called Nandaime on Wednesday of Semana Santa (Holy Week).  Here, the custom is stood on its head with procession participants using their whips and sticks to beat onlookers in a very structured, reasonably safe half-hour event.  

A video I shot on-location in Nandaime a few years ago, shows this unique interpretation of Medieval customs.

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