Mariamman Puja

MARIAMMAN POOJA
This ritualistic art form is prevalent in some parts of Palghat district and is mainly presented in temples. Mariammapooja is performed by Kumbharanmar (potters) . Twenty-two persons are needed for the performance. This art form is believed to be as old as the community itself.
An effigy of Mariamma (the clan deity) is taken in procession along with a large Kumbham (pot) to the river. After a dip in the river, they come back to the temple dancing all the way, one of them keeping the pot on his head. After arriving at the performance site, which is usually a decorated pandal put up in front of the temple, the kumbham carrier will flagellate himself with a whip. Later, the invocation of the deity, subsequent possession and oracular utterances, similar to that of Velichappadu, take place.
The performance starts in the evening and lasts till daybreak. Naked torches, nilavilakku and nowadays, petromax, provide the lighting.