Winter Solstice

On the closest weekend to the Winter Solstice lay a 4′ by 4′ square sheet of cotton cloth on the floor in the middle of a room. Create a 2 foot long soft modeling clay image of a fish to represent the shark spirit Kahaya and lay it in the middle of the sheet. Each participant should arm himself or herself with a wooden dowel about the thickness of a pencil about a foot long (a wooden shish kebab skewer will do also). If it is possible a turkey feather may be tied to the end of each dowel with string.

Have a woman braid three lengths of cotton clothesline rope about three feet long into one. create an egg-shaped loop on the cotton sheet next to the fish.

Either make a copy of a typical Yoka- Hu three-pointed cemi figure out of clay (no need to fire it) or substitute it with the cut-off pointed tip of a yuca tuber.

The ceremony begins with a tobacco smoking ritual. After the tobacco ritual each celebrant takes a turn sticking his or her “arrow” (the wooden dowel. In this way the shark of despair and hopelessness is defeated and the way is opened for Life and Hope of re-conception and eventual re-birth of Lord Yoka Hu.

Have a man (if one is available) place the Yoka Hu image inside the rope loop touching it to represent the moment of conception of Lord Yoka Hu when he begins to gestate inside the womb of his mother.

The occasion is capped off with a dinner which could include casabe or yuka.