IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL DEITIES AMONG THE MAHISHYA COMMUNITY OF EAST MIDNAPORE: A STUDY THROUGH NARRATIVES FROM EVERYDAY LIFE
Keywords:Village deities, Great & Little tradition, Worship, Narratives
People of rural India have been worshiped a number of village deities which are totally unknown to the urban population. Moreover which are specif to locality, villages and village community as well. These deities have no place in the great tradition of India but they have played dominant role in little tradition. They are popular to the villagers for their charismatic power. Villagers have been facing different problems in their personal and family lives throughout the year. In those crises, they have prayed to them to get relief from the probable hazardous situations. They felt that it is the blessing of their local deities.
This paper has been prepared on the basis of field experiences which have been gathered during October, 2018 to January, 2019 from two villages (namely, Bahadurpur village of Bhagawanpur-II Block and Ali Chak village of Khejuri-I Block) of East Midnapore. Researchers have been revealed that in both villages people have been worshipped ‘Smasan Kali’ and Lord Hori as their ‘Grama Devi’ and ‘Grama Devata’. There are different existing popular narratives regarding these deities and their kind miraculous power. Researchers have been collected several narratives from there about these local deities. Villagers have gathered their motivation from those stories. So, this paper has been able to explore the dominant role of these deities in local level. This has been attempted to find out the significance of the narratives in context of deities in village life.
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