Thursday, 21 May 2015

Chầu Bà | Exposure

Featured on Exposure, here is the Chầu Bà gallery.

The ‘Ladies’ (chầu bà) are the most photogenic divinities of the Mother Goddesses Religion of Vietnam. There are twelve ‘ladies’ in the Mother Goddesses pantheon who are reincarnations of the mothers. The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and the youngest of the ‘ladies’ are the most frequently incarnated by the spirit mediums. While experienced mediums can incarnate up to 36 spirits over the course of a single Hầu Đồng ceremony, it is the incarnations of the ‘ladies’ that are the most atmospheric.

Mediums enjoy incarnating the ‘Ladies’ because the audiences’ participation is much more vocal when they make their appearance, and the ceremonies become more relaxed, playful and even raucous at times.

To illustrate this Chầu Bà gallery, I chose photographs of a Hầu Đồng ceremony performed by Ms Le Trang ; an attractive and experienced bà đồng (female medium) whose ceremony was held at Đền Tam Phủ, a temple near Hanoi.

Another gallery featuring the Mother Goddesses ceremonies is also on Exposure: Hầu Đồng