Tsuma Festival

The Tsuma Festival is the counterpart of Umachii on Kume Island. It is a traditional Okinawan festival observing a quiet hope before the harvest and occurs on May 15th of the Lunar Calendar.

In the morning, the priestess (chinbe) dressed in a white robe and observers gather at Chinbei Dunchi to pray for the harvest. They give offerings of rice to the shrine inside the Dunchi.

After making offerings, the Chinbe travels to the Gima area and the gima norodunchi (place of offering). There the Gima Priestess (noro) leads the ceremonies. Afterward, they travel to the Ufudunchi, the oldest building in Kadekaru.

At the Ufudunchi, the priestesses, locals, and attendants share a meal with the local kami, then travel to the Chinaha Castle Ruins. Four boys lead the procession with long-handled fans mounted on bamboo sticks (kuba).

A Ryokaya is set up at the Chinaha Ruins, a kind of shade made of plants. There, more offerings are made and Umui (a prayer song) is sung and toasts are exhcanged. The umui is sung in hogen and is an offering of prayer to the kami. This ceremony is repeated at other important locations around the island, including the Shiradou and Tamaki houses.

On the way from Ara, on the road near Hishiku Rock, prayers are made while facing the ocean for a good catch of fish. Hishiku (rabbitfish) are small fish called suku.

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