Accepted paper:

Decoding meaning: the relationship established between ritual performance and space, within the Agraharam settlement of East Fort, Thiruvanthapuram

Authors:

Ranjani Srinivasan (CEPT University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper illustrates how space is conceived and experienced by the performer through ritual within a Brahmin settlement, built around the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala.

Paper long abstract:

"Spatial images are the dreams of society. Wherever the hieroglyphics of any spatial image is deciphered, there the basis of social reality presents itself." - Siegfried Kracauer Rituals make one understand the image of natural order created by symbolization and differentiation within a culture. From the earliest architecture, these fundamental relationships, such as an intermediate physical and metaphorical place have been articulated through various methods of ritual performance. This paper illustrates how space is conceived and experienced by the performer through ritual within a Brahmin settlement, built around the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum, Kerala. The study chooses 14 of the 16 samskaras (rites of passage) which a person goes through from birth unto death. One discovers that not only during these rituals, Vedic cosmogony manifests itself and can be experienced in by the performers but also that ritual performance has been a guiding factor for spatial articulation, right through from a singular housing unit to city planning.

panel P059
Anthropology through the experience of the physical body