Descending from the changing culture of my Koli (fishermen) community of Mumbai, adapted over time into the megapolis of Mumbai, The Armature, inspired by the performance of traditional non-representational form/mother Goddess deities called ’Bharali’, is decorated with references to the nimbu-Mirchi (lemon-chilies) evil eye believed to be a ward against ill-will and misfortune in the Indian subcontinent. This hybrid iconography offers a multi-layered approach to think about divisive ideologies, majoritarian and marginal cultural influences, and fading indigenous wisdom. Colors are symbology of so-called sacred pigments, an influence of materials on daily life.
I am talking about times before Portuguese and British arrived in our estuarine villages, before the invasion, migration, and displacement in and around Seven islands, my community was worshiping ocean, Moon, stars, and few Mother Goddesses. Currently, my community is experiencing the trauma of post-diaspora. ‘भराली’ (Bharaalee) is performed around September-October in the month of ’Pitru Paksha’ to protect and well-being children.