"The Yellamma Devi fair is held in Saundatti on the full moon day of Margasira, and on this occasion women become Devadasis or slaves of God. This age-old practice has been dubbed as religious prostitution by many social organizations. More than 100.000 pilgrims came with caravans driven by bulls and stay in the plain where they can camp. The Goddess of "different people" in a whirlwind of emotions, sounds, colors and smells brings together people eager to get out of the shadows, manifest themselves, claim the attention of others. Spilled with turmeric powder and red kumkum powder, the pilgrims bring to the goddess, incense, fruit and rice cakes, between songs and dances in honor of Yellamma, in a cathartic and propitiatory rite."
©2018 Stefano Pensotti