In order to get a sense of regional variation and the diversity of devotees and practices, we visited Pattini and Kannaki devales/kovils in different parts of the country and spent several days at each shrine, photographing as well as interacting with the devotees and ritual practitioners. Many of these visits were timed to coincide with special festivals and rituals connected with the goddess that are showcased in our photo essays. While researching this topic, we also came across a rich and varied array of websites, blogs and videos, often uploaded by devotees, which focused on the worship of either Kannaki or Pattini. We have provided links to a selection of those sites and videos as well.
This website, and the photographic exhibition that will travel to various parts of the island, would not have been possible without financial support from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development http://www.princeclausfund.org/ So, a big ‘thank you’ to the Fund! We are also grateful for the support extended to this project by Metropolitan Office Pvt. Ltd., and Canon.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Srilal Perera, Thamotherampillai Sanathanan and Pakiyanathan Ahilan for their enthusiastic support and encouragement from the inception of our research and photo documentation. Many others, too numerous to mention here, have helped us through the years by offering comments and suggestions, providing translations, locating articles, informing us about rituals, linking us with specialists, hosting us and driving us to all corners of the island. However, our greatest debt of gratitude is to the devotees of Kannaki-Pattini and the religious practitioners at her shrines who tolerated the constant presence of a camera, patiently answered our questions, and generously shared their knowledge, stories and experiences. This website is dedicated to them.
Sharni Jayawardena (photographer) & Malathi de Alwis (socio-cultural anthropologist)