Sthree Vellichappadukal

Sthree Vellichappadukal (women Oracles)

This is a ritual performance by devotees and believers perform in one of the Bhagawathi (Goddess) temple in Kerala. Interestingly majority of the performers are of women. Blood and belief blend in symbiosis during the Bharani festival at the Kodungallur temple in Kerala, South India, in the Malayalam month of Meenam each year. From the symbolism of the cock-stone ceremony with which the festival opens to the thandava tremors of the vellichappad  (oracles) which form its climax, blood is an extended metaphor that encapsulates a whole range of moods, from the spirit of war and blood lust of the conqueror, to the joy of liberation and the ecstasy of thanksgiving and communion. A background chorus to this ritual tapestry, strident as a discordant note in a symphony, is the ribald convention of Therippattu, the singing of obscene songs addressed to the temple deity.

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