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Kola - Sanniya

Kola-sanniya is the chief of the Sanni demons . He has raised cobra patterns around his eyes. He is shown  *a written contract” which he  looks at and reads it. He understands from this that  he can only descend to earth to cure the sick and to accept offerings, this is the extent of his powers.

Reading the “contract”

Approaching the Drummer

Final Demons - Deva-Sanniya or Kola-Sanniya

Next as it is now approaching dawn when the power of the demons decreases as the sun rises,  the final demon appears. This is either Kola-sanniya or Deva-sanniya according to which type of Tovil ceremony is being held. He receives the offerings from the patient and retreats back into the Demon Palace.


Deva- Sanniya wears a mask with cameo portraits of each of the 18 disease causing demons.

This one wears a mask with cameo portraits of each of the 18 disease causing demons.

He then returns to the Demon Palace.

Three more demons may appear - Demala Sanniya. Bita Sanniya and Gulma Sanniya. Their performances follow the same format. They enter from the Demon Palace, dance and sing about the specific demon, engage in a comic repartee with the Drummer that includes much grumbling, receive Offerings from the Patient and then retire. Although following roughly the same format, these demon appearances vary according to the particular ceremony and the group of Tovil Dancers conducting the ceremony concerned.

In “discussion” with the Drummer

You Tube Video Links:

Morning Watch Dances: Deva Sanniya: https://youtu.be/wj1-4rCrUkQ

Morning Watch: Maru Paliya - Authentic Healing Tovil (Devil) - Dance of Southern Sri Lanka : https://youtu.be/a5qEk17YtGs

Gulma Sanniya -