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04 April 2016

The Dialogue & Acceptance (Part 10 of 11)

Final Moments of the Kola

Disclaimer: This post includes descriptions of Possession, wherein the Spirit occupies the man acting as the medium (The Oracle) temporarily. It is left to an individual to believe this or to differ with the idea. For me personally, it's more a form of local art than anything else. This is why I put up such articles and photographs on my blog. These indigenous traditions, unless preserved, could slowly disappear, till we'd end up only reading about such customs and practices. I claim no authority on the subject; whatever I've put up here is what I've been told by my folks, or what I've read on the topic!
Once all rounds of dance are over, it is now time for the most important part of the ritual- to ask, converse with the Spirits and seek guidance. Usually there is a long line of people waiting to ask and seek advice. In some cases this part of the ritual goes on quite late, well into the next morning! One particular relative is even known to pick fights with the Spirits! 
 
Since this Kola has been organised as a part of the renovation of the daivasthana, and not as a mannat, there aren't many people waiting to do so. It's just the general family elders, who seek blessings for the entire family. The conversation happens in the local language, Tulu, sometimes through the mediator, sometimes directly. Listening to the fluent, effortless dialogue (Nudi) delivered by the Oracle is nice, the tone is very soothing.
 
What the Head-dress looks like from the rear
Once the dialogue is over, it is now time for the verdict by the Spirits- whether they have been satisfied, and if they have accepted the ritual held in their honour. With an advice to visit and pray at the village Shiva temple and a Durgaparameshwari Devi temple (referred to as Ullalti), the verdict is delivered. They have accepted the Kola. 
The sign of acceptance is drinking milk and eating a banana dipped in it. The milk has to be from a cow. Thanks to my uncle, he has freshly milked his cow at 3 AM! Before offering it to the Spirits, every member of the family has to symbolically touch the offering. It is then handed over to the Oracles, who accept it graciously (it almost felt like she was raising a toast!). 
 
 
 
 
 
We have almost come to the end of the Kola, and what remains is just the chicken offering.

Read also, the earlier posts in this series: 

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