Serpent God Worship Ritual in Kerala

Suresh Kumar


Serpent god worship is common in parts of India, like Kerala, Bengal and Karnataka. In Kerala, one way of worshiping serpent gods is by laying symmetrically designed floor drawings, that are called ‘Kalams’, with bright and colourful powders made from natural objects. Beautiful pictures of serpent gods are drawn using these powders on ground smeared with cowdung in the first phase of the ritual. Following this, a senior priest consecrates the floor drawings and two types of physical performances follow. The three performances are orchestrated by wild rhythmic music, using folk instruments. In the next stage, a verbal recitation is followed by the main performance of the ritual, the dancing of the female oracles.

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