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Sarpam Thullal

 

A spectacular ritual performance, Sarpam Thullal is done to appease the snake gods and thereby to bring prosperity to the family. Specific offerings are made to the snake deities as part of this.

A colourful Kalam (drawing on the ground using colour powder) is drawn in the courtyard of the house and figures of Nagayakshi and Ashtanagakkettu are featured. These Kalams are full of intricate designs. Two girls are made to sit in front of the Kalam and songs are sung with the accompaniment of Pulluvankkudam, Pulluvan Veena and Ila Thalam. As the songs progress, the girls get captivated by the rhythm and atmosphere and begin to make serpent-like movements. The final stages of the trancelike dance are a violent frenzy of rhythmic fervour in the climax of which the girls erase the Kalam with flower bunches.

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