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Pattini Ceremonies Myths Shrines Community Pattini Community Pattini 2 Family Pattini

Family Pattini Tovil - Devol Madua

This ceremony is held annually by a clairvoyant to enable him to continue to have the power and gift  of foretelling the future. He is married, aged about late 30s to early 40s and has a wife and one young son.

He was very thin in the face and looked troubled and very serious. Apparently his powers come from the spirits of his dead ancestors and this ceremony was to continue those lines of communication.

He has a devale (shrine) in his yard where he undertakes his consultations. This devale is constructed of mud bricks  and coconut thatch. He lives in a mud brick traditional house but other houses in the compound are much more prosperous looking – those of his brothers’ etc. The compound is located on the edge of paddy fields.

The Tovil dancers continued dancing and singing the story of Pattini  whilst the officiating Dancer  was organising the Pattini objects in the Pattini Shrine

At the end of this dance the Clairvoyant “respects” the Tovil dancers who returned the respect

For this dance they wore the “bonnets” and had whitened their faces

You Tube Video Links

Devol Madua Part 1 - Annual Pattini Ceremony held by Clairvoyant


Devol Madua Part 2 : "Bonnet" Dance


One dancer was singing as  the torches were being lighted in the Shrine, from time to time the officiant rang a tinkling bell . At first the dancers danced slowly then the dancing became faster. They sang as they danced. Their movements were like those of women.

The officiant blew on the conch shell 3 times whilst  the drum was beaten whilst he was facing the toran. This was to announce the ceremony was for the Deities

The dance area was in front of the house beside the devale. Chairs were placed as usual for the audience.

We had arrived at about 1030pm during the first session. The tovil dancers were singing the history of the ceremony and those of the Deities involved and then the Pattini appearance was performed..

The clairvoyant kept wandering around followed by his attendants. Sometimes he was seated on a mat at the edge of the performance area or he went into his devale where members of the audience would enter in turn to consult him about their futures.This involved a 100 rupees payment offered to the Deity accompanied in the traditional way with bulat leaves. He burnt the usual “candle” on top of a coconut to enable his clairvoyancy.

 The Clairvoyant then fetched a clay pot containing  dana food from his house and then spooned it  out of the pot into each of audience’s hands which they all ate. Whilst everyone was being served by the clairvoyant the officiant  was continuing to arrange the Pattini articles and sing about what he was doing.

The Dance to call Pattini followed next. Starting with just one dancer with a whitened face and wearing a bonnet  and holding coconut flowers in each hand the next dance commenced. He was soon joined by 2 others similarly attired all three sang as they danced. Then the drumming became faster. They appeared to be dancing seductively and at times two rested but continued singing whilst the other one danced. Then  they all rested and  had an interchange with the drummer who continued the drum beat throughout. Then the dancing continued but one of the dancers left the Performance Area and returned with an object that he added to the Shrine in the toran. When the dance ended they all respectfully bowed to the toran.

The Officiant stood in front of the toran and chanted to a slow drumbeat as he carefully arranged the Pattini articles in  the Toran.