The Paparudas

This is an augural agrarian custom. It has multiple motivations, mainly concerned with drought and its consequences.

A little girl clad with a dress made of leaves or shoots of willow goes dancing and singing a rain-invocation through the village lanes, together with other boys and girls until an older woman comes along and sprinkles the Paparuda with cold water. The incantation should release rain and save the harvest.

“Paparuda, Paparuda,/Come and sprinkle water,/Sprinkle from a pail/Until we cry hail. ….

Let the rain pour down/ From dusk till dawn/ ….

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