Friday, September 14, 2007

goddess no longer

back in June I blogged about a Nepalese girl who was honored as a living incarnation of Kali.

kali girl

Unfortunately i have to update the story that she has now been stripped of her title. Or I guess that would mean the spirit of Kali has left her body. The girl, Sajani Shakya, had toured the US to promote a documentary film about the kumari tradition where pre-adolescent girls are revered as a living goddess. When they reach the age of puberty the spirit of the goddess is supposed to leave their body and a new girl is chosen. Unfortunately a folk tale attached to the tradition says that men who marry a former Kumari will die early so many former Kumari's never marry and face hard lives after their goddess childhood.

The news report I read, in The Christian Century, July 24, 2007, doesn't specify why the girl lost her status, although it seems to be related to the film tour. The article also says that Kumari's are incarnations of a Hindu goddess named Taleju, not Kali, although many of the Hindu pantheon are inter-related in complex ways.

More about the Kumari can be found at this Nepalese tourism website:

No comments: