Sarpabali Puja and Pulluvan Pattu

Pulluvan Pattu – Indigenous folk songs of Kerala dedicated to the Snake God. The Pulluva is a community under the Hindu religion. They sang praise and worship different deities. Majority of the Pulluva people are Nagampatikal (the people who worship and sing songs to the snake). Nagampatikal people worship the snake gods and indulge in rituals that involve sacrifices and singing. Pulluvan Pattu is a song form, sung by the people of Pulluva, in praise of the snake gods who they believe are the protectors of their land. The Pulluvan (male member of the community) and a Pulluvatti (female member of the community) sing these songs in the village houses and in snake temples. The ritual is usually conducted on days that are auspicious and considered sacred to snakes- like the Ayilyam day. As part of the worship Kalams (rangoli which is made from using rice and turmeric in addition to color powder) are drawn and Noorum Paalum (a mixture of milk and lime) is made as an offering to the snake god. This is followed by the song performance of Pulluvan Pattu.

These songs are accompanied with certain indigenous musical instruments. The musical instruments used for Pulluvan Pattu by the Pulluva are the following-

Pulluvan Veena – It looks like a one- stringed violin. The Veena is made from a hollow bamboo stick. Its shell is made from wood and brass or vegetal wire. The stick used to play the Pulluvan Veena is made from Bamboo.

Pulluvan Kudam – It looks like an earthenware pot having a string attached to it. The Kutam is a pot which has a hole at the bottom. This hole is covered with calf skin stretched over it. On the side of the pot where the skin is placed, one end of the sting is connected through two holes. The other end of the string is connected to a long stick which is elevated by a small splint. When this string is plucked on, music is created.

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