With willing participants covered in dirt and surrounded by fire, it is not exactly a conventional religious or spiritual ceremony. But the bizarre scenes are part of a 20-year exorcism tradition led by the mysterious ‘Brother Hermes’, who claims the ritual rids people of evil spirits.
The Colombian exorcisms see people dressed entirely in white before lying across a stretch of dirt in between red and yellow marker posts. The 50-year-old spiritual leader, who real name is Hermes Cifuentes, also covers participants with black dirt from head to toe and makes them stand in a deep dirt hole during parts of the ceremony.
Whether Brother Hermes’s questionable methods get results it is difficult to say, but the spiritual leader is clearly doing something right judging by the high demand for his services. Participants place a lot of faith in the work of the spiritual leader by lying in the dirt surrounded by flames.
It is thought that around 10 people each week at his site in La Cumbre, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, to consult Brother Hermes and practice rituals of healing and exorcism. Many also have their eyes covered with blackened bandages and are stood inbetween strips of green and white ribbon as Brother Hermes works his ‘magic’.
And to complete the thoroughly bizarre look to proceedings, participants are seen surrounded by candles and fruit, with eggs placed on their heads. The healer then performs his own well-established rituals on people by placing his hands carefully on their bodies and heads.
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