Dr.Kousalya standing near the wall
MARABU FOUNDATION (REGD)
( A Foundation to Promote Peace and Harmony Through Traditional Arts Literature and Education)
Jatavallabar House, 6/78 Thillaisthanam, Thanjavur - 613 203.
Phone No. 04362-260606
E.Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAVANDHARAI – A TRADITIONAL KOLATTAM FESTIVAL
India, particularly Tamil Nadu, is rich in traditional art forms and the festivals connected with them which are slowly vanishing and some have already vanished. One such festival is Kollatta javandharai. Kolattam is an art form played by striking two sticks, against each other, by holding one in each hand accompanied by Music. It is one art form which is prevalent all over India. Javandharai is a festival of Kolattam. There is a myth connected with the festival.
Once upon a time, a demon called Basavasura was torturing the people by beating them with sticks, in the form of a bull/cow. Bhooma Devi, the Goddess of Earth, Unable to bear the sufferings of the people, pleaded with Vishnu/Shiva. The Almighty ultimately killed him and at the time of his death, the asura realized his folly and received a boon. Accordingly, if innocent children assemble and perform Kolattam before his idol for a period on one mandala (48 days), the place should gain good showers of rain, a fruitful harvest and prosperity. Thus, the festival came into existence, with slight local variations in the southern districts of Tamilnadu, where agriculture is the principle occupation.
The Javandharai begins the day after Deepavali(new Moon day) and goes on for one Mandala(48 days). The local traditional potter moulds a clay idol of a cow and calf. It is received ceremoniously in a house. Seeds different traditional grains are sown into 5 small pots so that they germinate and grow into healthy plants at the end of the festival, symbolizing fertility. It is called Paaligai or Mulaippaari. Girls below thirteen years of age assemble everyday and perform Kolattam for traditional kolattam songs in front of the installed idol of Cow and calf. Children are invited to perform kolattam in the houses of the village and the ones nearby, where they are honoured. On the concluding day, all the children take oil bath and in the evening, they are dressed in the traditional attire presented to them after which they go in a procession to the bank of Kaviri, performing kolattam. A small boy taking the installed idol, leads the procession accompanied by the entire village and the visitors. The idol is then immersed in the river and the Paaligai is dissolved in the waters by the elderly ladies On their way back, Haarathi is performed before the houses. This will be followed by a grand communal feast.
The traditional festival was revived in our village after a gap of forty years in 1989 by our co-ordinator Dr. Rama. Kausalya, ex-principal, Thiruvaiyaru Music College. Now Marabu Foundation has been conducting this wonderful festival. This year, the javandharai began on November 16th which will conclude on 3rd January 2013. All the like minded fraternity are requested to patronize and extend their support in preserving this age old tradition and to participate in the concluding day function.
For further information please contact Dr. Rama Kausalya, Marabu Foundation, Jatavallabar House, 6/78, Thillaisthanam, Thanjavur Dt., 613 203. Phone: (04362) 260606
Dr.Rama Kousalya, in the midst of her students at Thillaisthanam