Anthropologists in the northern hemisphere recently discovered the ceremonies of a southern-located population.
In their study, they found this particular tribe of people to have practiced and perfected a specific ritual more what they date as almost sixty years.
According to records, the ritual engrossed more than 63 percent of the tribe, resulting in mass displays of tribal pride at least once a year.
The fate of the remaining 37 percent of the tribe is unknown, as their voices were not documented in the newly discovered records.
The situation mirrored Israeli disc-jockey behavior in what anthropologist Kevin Carrico noted in Ritual; the tribe used music to draw on a common habit with a unified atmosphere, creating a tribal identity in the collective experience.
The same practice could be observed in the Incan construction of such wonders like Macchu Picchu and Ollantaytambo, where workers were said to have sung while moving and placing stones. The music, as seen in every example, distracted the participants from the mundane tasks of the ritual, and created a more engaging atmosphere.
The participating members started the ritual as a community, giving their undivided time and energy to the ceremony. Elders would organize and advise, but the younger generations put the most work in, qualifying it as a social event.
As time passed, though, the ceremony became a competition between these members. It was not honoring of the blessings of the tribe any longer, but a blood-thirsty fight to the death between who could, for the lack of a better word, put on a better show.
Anthropologists have only just been able to identify the turning point in the ceremony’s purpose. Once again looking to anthropologist Kevin Carrico’s work, they came to the conclusion that the participants no longer exercised control over their rituals, but the rituals were exercising control over them.
Though some participants were aware of this, as observed in depreciating notes scribbled on walls, they still felt pressured by the majority of the tribe to continue in an understanding silence of the evolving ritual.
Over the years, countless hours were spent on this ritual. The entire tribe suffered a loss of productivity and even increased their health risks by ruining their immune systems with a lack of eating, sleeping and general hygiene.
To the anthropologists surprise, though, they were not the first to discover this ritual-centered tribe.
The ceremony was quickly discovered by a close-by community. Through a bartering system, the incoming communities convinced the tribe to allow an observance of this ritual.
This incoming community wrote on the spectacle, calling it awe-inspiring, mysterious and terrifying. This concept, defined by Rudolf Otto as a numinous experience, beckoned more distanced communities to travel and witness the event.
As the popularity of the ritual grew, more and more participants became lost in it.
To justify their means, anthropologists have discovered that members claimed it as a true community experience. They claimed their sacrifices were not important, only the fact that each member was sacrificing something together.
Still, questions begging, “Why are we doing this, if not to please?” remain scrawled in the old ritual arena.
Upon further investigation, the anthropologists were able to locate an existing member of the tribe. The partaker said members of their time would even scoff at the event, they would each dread it every year.
Talk of the event wavered between ecstatic mutterings to bitterness dissents. But they never thought of stopping the ritual, because it was expected, because it was tradition. They coveted the event, they even cherished it. And for that, it was never brought into serious question.
The tribe was located in the southern part of the North American continent. Located in West Texas, the members still practice their ritual today. The end is nowhere in sight. This is Sing Song.