Kavadi, Mauritius

Kavadee is a Ceremonial sacrifice and offering practised by devotees during the worship of Lord Murugan,[1] the Hindu God of War. The kavadi means “burden” it is a physical burden, asking Murugan for assistance, usually on behalf of a loved one who is in need of healing, or as a means of balancing a spiritual debt.

On the day of the festival, devotees undertake a pilgrimage along a set route while engaging in various acts of devotion, notably carrying various types of kavadi (burdens). Carrying a pot of milk (pal kavadi) and piercing the skin, tongue or cheeks with vel skewers.

The wooden structure that is carried on the shoulders by the devotee is usually decorated with flowers and peacock feathers it is regarded as the vehicle of God Murugan. 

Taking these photographs, I attempted to understand my heritage while maintaining a western perspective. This series of photographs was taken in 2008 when I spent a year soul searching and trying to figure out who I was.