Nad Kakuvo – Summoning the Village at Puthari

During puthari (rice harvest festival), celebrations are spread over several days, with dances and songs for different occasions. This is when many symbolic stories are revived and narrated.

One such is the story of the tore pakshi (Speckled Dove) and the kuruli pakshi (Jungle Mynah) recorded above. It is narrated on the mand (outdoor community space), just before the puthari kol (harvest dance) commences on the day after the ritual harvesting of the rice crop.

The Speckled Dove needs a carpenter to secure her nest of newly laid eggs, and the story recounts the successive steps she goes through to convince various animals, birds, reptiles and humans to help her out of her difficulties. The narrator pauses at the end of specific sentences, waiting for a response from his audience. This is known as nad kakuvo (summoning/addressing the village), highlighting the nature of community, and the interconnectedness of all living beings as the sequence of events in the story unfolds. Puthari is an important landmark in the agricultural and social calendar when all social ties and community obligations are re-affirmed and reinforced.

Recorded on 8th December 2022 at Kunjila Village, Kenjerene Mand.  Narrated by Kundyolanda Ramesh Muddiah.