Responsable: Dominic Goodall

École française d'Extrême-Orient
16-19 rue Dumas
605 001 Pondicherry, India

Tel: +91 413 233 45 39
Fax: +91 413 233 08 86 goodalldominic@gmail.com

Presentation of a documentary in progress on the possession in the Kāmākhyā temple, Assam
GHORA. DANCING GODS. A work-in-progress documentary. By Irene Majo Garigliano and Alessandro Cartosio.
Centre of the EFEO, Library Hall, 19 Dumas street, at 4.30 pm.

Projection of the documentary's teaser, followed by a presentation of the project by Irene Majo Garigliano (PhD student at "Sapienza" University of Rome and University "Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense"). India, Assam. Devidas, a fifty-years-old bank employee, is possessed every year in August by Hindu Goddess Manasā in the Kāmākhyā Temple. The man possessed by Goddess Bagalā is much younger; he is about twenty years old and works for the temple's security. According to the common belief, scpecific individuals (Assamese: Ghoras) are chosen by gods in order to be their human vehicles.Twenty-one men are possessed by different Hindu deities every year during the three-days Deodhani festival and dance to the sound of duls (huge Assamese drums). The same individuals are possessed every year by the same deities, since childhood. Ghoras are worshipped as deities, but once the festival is over they go back to their everyday life. The film's first aim is to explore the way Ghoras understand their identity. We will follow the two above-mentioned individuals during the festival, as well as during their daily and professional lives. Moreover we intend to analyse how Ghoras perceive the impact of globalization and "modern life" on the possession they undergo, as well as on the entire phenomenon of the festival. In order to enrich the analysis, devotees' opinions on these issues will be taken into account.