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by lilitiger

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The Gods descend on Veliapanur (Tamil N)

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Last night we were invited to a dance/performance ritual in the small
village behind our house. The performance is from 10pm to 6am, for 3
nights in a row. A villager came to wake us up before 2am, so we could
see our watchman perform his part from 2am onwards.
When we got to the village, the street was full of the audience, sitting
or lying down asleep. A kind of stage had been set up at the end of the
the street, in front of the small temple.
Only one man per family performed. But every one in the village had a
part to play, not in the performance, but as musicians, or either as
audience, or to build a fire pit out of cow dung for a fire ceremony in
the play, or to cover the path from the end of the village to the stage
in neem leaves and dot it with camphor lights (the sleepers having been
woken and moved aside). As soon as the props were used, they were
removed speedily, brushed, washed and vanished. Men stood all round the
stage to direct it as it went along, if necessary. The play was
interrupted regularly to announce donations of money, or so we could
take pictures of the cast and family, as we had the only digital camera
(borrowed from our neighbour).
On the whole, the play held the audiences attention, even though it's
mostly performed for god - so it doesn't matter who watches. It
certainly held mine, I've never seen anything like it in my life!

The god here (top) are Kamatchi, Siva, and their son. Our watchman is Kamatchi.
29th May 2007, 13:22   | tags:,,,


Euphro says:

Superb! Fantastic colours :)

29th May 2007, 13:26

nige says:


29th May 2007, 13:39

lilitiger says:

The make-up was fabulous. They hired a guy from a neighbouring village who does it professionally in the region, for best effect! The costumes were home made, shiny saris, dhotis etc, loads of jewelry, and the headdress were ornate with real mirrors that gave the gods a truly shiny aspect as the stage neons reflected on them.

29th May 2007, 13:58

Viv says:

absolutely brilliant - what a fabulous experience

29th May 2007, 14:05

Gael says:

stunning costumes

31st May 2007, 20:28

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