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Mahasona with ritual sword

Mahasona 200

This ceremony took place in 2007 near Ambalangoda, performed by a chief yakadura and five assistants.

The patient

The patient had been talking nonsense, hearing voices and talking to invisible people. He had nightmares about monsters and demons (yakas) and was afraid to go to sleep. If he ate meat, fish or eggs (polluted foods loved by demons) demons came to torment him. He often went to the cemetery - a place loved by demons.

The patient was diagnosed 2-3 weeks earlier by the chief yakadura and a small 'holding' ceremony performed - a charmed thread (apa nul) was tied around his wrist. This gives some protection until the main ritual can be performed. A horoscope was also taken to gain more information about the patient and decide a date for the main ceremony.

On the day of the ceremony the largest room in the patient's house was cleared for the ceremony. All items and structures used for the ritual were made the same day, including the altar for the gods, offering baskets, foods and other items.

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