© 2023 Dr. M. Sheppard

Dances Evening Watch Midnight Watch Morning Watch Patient Dancing Fire Dance Finale

A special drum rhythm is beaten by the drummers  to call Mahasona, the much feared Cemetery Demon. Mahasona feasts on corpses and flesh.

One of the Tovil Dancers may blow on the bamboo whistle to call him.

Typically a sheet screen is held up by attendants to screen the Patient from the Demon Palace during the appearance of Mahasona. An offering basket for Mahashona is placed on a chair near the Patient.

Eventually sounds are heard inside the Demon Palace. Then suddenly Mahasona bursts out carrying a lighted torch in each hand.

He flames dummala on these torches high into the air.

 He dances around the Performance Area frightening the Audience who shrink away from him.

 As he dances around he may pause at times  in front of the clay picture, quizzically examining it. (It is usually to the side of the Performance Area.)

The Dance of Mahashona

During the Dance of Mahasona, Mahasona strikes various “set” poses.

 Eventually he sits beside the Patient, fondling them and rubbing coconut leaves over their head. The Patient is very frightened.

Patients, like the Audience, are terrified and cringe away from contact with Mahasona.

Then he takes up his offering basket and returns into the Demon Palace.

Mahasona performs a final dance in front of the Patient

The Dance of Mahasona typically lasts about 10-20 minutes

You Tube Video Link:

Midnight Watch Dances: Mahasona: https://youtu.be/-LE9__hDhAs