An annual ceremony observed by devotes of the Hindu Goddess Maha Veera Kaliamman - "The Goddess of the Graveyard" -- was filmed recently in northwest Malaya.
Ceremonies in progress.
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Background: An annual ceremony observed by devotes of the Hindu Goddess Maha Veera Kaliamman - "The Goddess of the Graveyard" -- was filmed recently in northwest Malaya. The ceremony involves piercing the body of the worshipper with sharp instruments, and walking over red hot coals.
This ceremony took place in the township of Alor Star in the state of Kedah, northwest Malaya. The annual event allows the worshippers to repent their wrongs, or to express thanks to the goddess for answering a prayer.
Most of the people who took part in this ceremony were rubber tappers. After a brief bathing ceremony, the worshippers assembled before a priest. Then a flute sounded a long, haunting wail, and a drum began throbbing steadily. As the music reached a crescendo the worshippers appeared to fall, one by one, into a trance. Their bodies began to shake, while their voices were raised in a shrill scream.
As the rite progressed, one elderly man stood, unflinching, as small steel hooks were passed through his arms, chest and back. Then a skewer was driven through his cheeks.
The last part of the ceremony took place at a small temple, where a crowd had gathered around a pit of smouldering coals.
One by one, the worshippers -- including young men and elderly women --- walked through the red hot cinders. Once through the pit the worshippers fell into a deep faint -- their frenzies over. But not one was burnt. The Hindus believe that only those who are impure will suffer from this act of sacrifice.