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Kalu Vadi

This dance customarily follows immediately after the Presentations. Kalu Vadi was a hunter for his master Mangara. Mangara is in the intermediate stage between a Deity and a demon.) Kalu Vadi’s task, was to hunt out demons in the jungles for Mangara to then destroy. This performance re-enacts this legend.

At the end of performing the Presentations, the Tovil Dancer returns to the Demon Palace and after “discussion” with the Drummer, takes the bow  from Demon Palace and arrow (Igaba) from beside Patient. Then he sings and performs a “swaying” dance outlining the myth to the accompaniment of a special slow drumbeat. The Drummer sings alternate verses with the Dancer. Then the drumbeat quickens and the Dancer takes aim at the cock sited in front of the Patient and misses. This part reputedly represents an unsuccessful deer hunt when sorcery prevented Kalu Vadi from hitting his quarry. Further “discussion and advice” from the Drummer follows.

The Dancer then removes limes from the Offering Basket beside the Patient and performs “lime-cutting” against the Patient’s forehead whilst reciting curative and protective mantra over the Patient. He then takes up the bow and Igaba (arow) from beside the Offering Basket by the Patient. The Drummer strikes up a new beat and on his second or third attempt, he is deemed to have “hit” the cock successfully and thus overcome the sorcery. (This perhaps symbolises how the demons causing the Patient’s illness will also be overcome resulting in the successful recovery for the Patient.)

Following further comic interchange between the Dancer and the Drummer, the Dancer then gathers up the cock and the Igaba which he lays against the Patient. He presents the cock to the Patient to “imbue” with their essence thus transferring the demons causing their illness into the cock.

After a further dance with the cock, he places it in the Demon Palace. The area is smoked with dummala to further attract the attention of the demons.

Whilst this last part of the Kalu Vadi is being carried out at the Demon Palace, the Edura (Healer) takes up the Offering Basket from beside the Patient whom he instructs to add further offerings. The Edura then replaces the Offering Basket beside the Patient and retires.

The Dancer performs a final dance beside the Demon Palace before bowing respectfully towards it. This signals the completion of the Kalu Vadi.

Dancing with the bow and arrow (Igaba) singing the legend of Kalu Vadi

First attempt is unsuccessful due to the sorcery of the demons

“Success” on second or third attempt

Cock and arrow returned to Demon Palace

Area smoked with dummala to attract attention of demons

Offering Basket presented to Patient to add more offerings

Patient’s “essence” transferred to cock to remove demons causing their sickness

Transferring demons causing Patient’s sickness, to cock

You Tube Video Link:

Midnight Watch - Presentations


(Kalu Vadi performance is final 7 minutes approx.)