Separating Myth from Reality - Thomas L. Kelly


A devadasi in trance dances at the yearly festival to Yellama. She wears the distinctive dreadlocks and cowry shell necklace markings of a devadasi. In Ancient India, devadasis were the only women who could read, write and own property. A devadasi does not require a dowry. Since marriage to Yellama ritually turns a daughter into a groom and a son, poor parents without sons dedicate their daughter in the hopes that she will provide for them in their old age.

Saundatti, Karnataka, India.

INGOIOMIOM busesInternational Office of Migrationbhutanese refugeekathmandunepalrefugeeyellamadevadasi