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Devol Madua Part 9 Purifying


Pre Gara/Cobra Dance

The officiant then paraded around the Performance Area with his hands on his head holding  coconut leaves against his head. He was accompanied by a drumbeat  Each time he circulated past the toran and the shrine with the lighted torch on the  left of the toran, he circulated his upper body and collapsed against that part of the shrine.

Eventually he  took the bundle of leaves off his head and placed them into this shrine. Then he picked out the clay pot of purified  water and a “whisk” from the toran and sprinkled  the toran and the shrines, then the family and then the audience then the properties in the yard - the clairvoyant’s devale and the  houses in the yard.

When he returned to the Performance Area, he  again sprinkled the toran before returning the clay pot and “sprinkler”. He then bowed to the toran. He sang about what he was doing throughout to the accompaniment of the drumbeat.

In  the meantime, the dancer who was to perform the  next dance, the Gara dance, appeared from behind the toran. He was wearing a red conical hat and also organised an Assistant to take the offering basket still on on the chair beside the toran, out of the  Performance .Area.

This offering basket was brought back by the Assistant and placed on a chair directly in front of the toran. The main officiant then placed a lighted torch in this offering basket and to the drumbeat and his singing and swaying to and fro, he directed the Assistant to thoroughly smoke the area, under the chair and all around the offering basket. Whilst he was singing he threw dummala onto the coal pan to cause the smoke. He then took a handful and threw it at the lighted torch to cause flaming around the the offering basket. He continued swaying and singing alternate lines with the other dancer who was behind the toran preparing to dance the cobra (Gara) dance.

The drumbeat changed and then cobra (Gara) appeared from behind the toran.