• Annanmar Katai in Animation and C...

    For more than five decades, Brenda Beck, has worked on the epic of the Annanmar Katai. Beck chanced upon this folk tale one evening quite by accident while doing fieldwork in India in 1964-1966. In the past decade, Brenda Beck and her team have created multiple products such as animation videos, comic books, and many other digital materials for educational purposes through the Sophia Hilton Foundation of Canada. To access their work, please visit: https://www.ponnivala.com/

    Brenda Beck's books on the Annanm...

    Brenda Beck, in addition to multiple essays on the subject, has published three major books dealing with the story of the Ponnivala Nadu. The Three Twins discusses Annanmar Katai through the lenses of anthropology, history, and the study of folklore. The Land of the Golden River is a translation of the epic, as dictated by the lead bard after an elaborate performance spanning nineteen evenings and the Hidden Paradigms is an essay into the possibilities of a closer reading into the paradigms as revealed in the Annamar Katai.

    Tamil Transcription of the Perfor...

    The oral epic, performed over a few nights in the 1960s, was about forty hours long and was transcribed into Tamil, much later, and that was 2400 pages. A key source in creating this exhibit is the Tamil Transcription from Brenda Beck’s archive available at the ARCE. The adjoining picture is the first page of the 2400 pages of the transcribed performance. These transcribed pages are useful to understand and contextualize the oral rendition of the performance.

    Track Information : An invocation to Lord Vinayaka ushering the performance of the epic.
    Performer(s) : Erucanampalayam Ramasami and Olappalayam Palanisami
    Collection : Brenda Beck Collection

    Pregnant Queen Episode

    When Tamarai, begets the boon for offspring from Lord Shiva, after twenty-one years of arduous penance, she returns to the land of the golden river with the sacred water. Shiva told her that any living creature who drank this would beget a child. The performed version is full of songs and prose about how the cows and all the other creatures are pregnant, while the dictated version summarizes this in one sentence.

    Track Information : A song celebrating the Queen nearing her seventh month of pregnancy. The bards sing, praising the reign of the king and Ponnivala Nadu’s prosperity. It is followed by describing how the goats, the cows, and all the other animals are pregnant.
    Performer(s) : Erucanampalayam Ramasami and Olappalayam Palanisami
    Collection : Brenda Beck Collection