In The Land of Snake Gods
In the erstwhile province of Malabar in the southern part of India people worshipped snakes and performed serpent dances to propitiate snake gods for boons – such as birth of a daughter. Native Kings ruled the land, and the law provided property rights only to women. It facilitated Nair women to have as many husbands as they desired. However in case the family had no woman-heir, the property would be attached by the chieftain of the village.
This was the situation when Paliakal family found itself without a female heir. With the connivance of their crafty personal assistant they overcome the predicament, but it presaged a series of misfortunes, including loss of property and their ancestral home. The story takes through some of the weird customs and practices existed till the early part of twentieth century.
Published: 7 June 2013