Village ambalama or traditional assembly hall

Our life in the village is an eternal puja, or offering, in which we act as the mediator in keeping nature's balance. All life is art. It was a perspective that was handed down to us from our ancestors.

This wisdom we project in everything we do and through timeless motifs and ideograms that adorn our life. Our life revolves around the seasons following the majestic descent of our father the Sun from his cold Himalayan mansion in the north to the hot southern plains of our motherland.

Every puranagama has its own god or goddess who inhabits a tree, a cave, a hillock or a sacred grove. The Hill God is naturally the most popular, since life comes down as water from the hills. Nature is named, given a role and turned into a divinity. Cultivation is a sacred ritual and every peasant a priest of nature.

In the centre of our village under a tree is our dewale, or temple, in which we enshrine our wisdom—a spear, a trident, a sickle, an axe. These weapons and tools symbolize a dual function. While they take life, they also give life. They are instruments of continuity, thus fertility, hence Skanda the Hill God. Life and death become twins.

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