Sweet gruesome statue asking for donations

(Also known as “The most bad-ass ‘donations please’ advertisement ever conceived” – io9)

Halfway between the hippie-mainstay Pondicherry and proto-Jonestown Auroville lies this incredible 15-foot-tall Indian shrine of some awful crime in progress.

Evisceration, again! But this wasn’t just any old gutting-for-god shrine — it was an eye-catching call for cash. The local village was working hard to reconstruct the Sri Angalaparameswariamman Temple.

Angalaamman is a ferocious, bloodthirsty god, so what better way to raise finds in her honor than a greasy handful of intestines?

“People worship her to avoid falling victims to her unquenchable anger,” Rev. Henry Whitehead, the longtime Bishop of Madras, wrote in 1903. “Her main object is believed to be to devour and consume everything that comes in her way. She is said especially to have a great relish for bones!”

I pulled a crumpled one hundred rupee note from my pocket and dropped it in the donation box. I like my bones!

“When a pig is sacrificed to Angalaamman,” continues Whitehead, “its neck is first cut slightly at the top and the blood allowed to flow on to some boiled rice placed on a plantain leaf… then the rice soaked in its own blood is given to the pig to eat. If the pig eats it, the omen is good; if not, the omen is bad; but in any case, the pig has its head cut off.”

Fantastic! Unfortunately, there were no pigs around… the only wandering animals were a pair of goats. One dozed beneath the statue while the other munched at the garlands left in someone else’s prayer.

Holy Curiosities /

5 Responses to Sweet gruesome statue asking for donations

  1. Sekhar says:

    Describing one’s religion and god as Gruesome isn’t actually praiseworthy. A Parochial mindset can be avoided, even though you have freedom to express your ideas. This is actually an idol of a hindu goddess, and is a symbolic representation of good destroying evil. People do not worship the god because of fear, but they believe worshipping her will destroy the evil in them and lead them onto a right path.

  2. Shirley McLean says:

    All too horrible to comment. How DO you find these oddities?

  3. Praveen says:

    Andy, you surely haven’t travelled much or considered religion to possible function beyond the framework you might be familiar with. The excerpts that you quote are from a Reverend, need i say more about perspective there.

    • Andy Deemer says:

      You’re right on both counts, Praveen! I wasn’t able to find any more recent translated works on Angalaamman, and my Tamil is somewhat close to nonexistent. But maybe you have some good info on Angalaamman, and why this statue isn’t a gruesome call for cash? (The Bishop’s quotes are also over 100 years old!) Would love to know more! Thanks!!

  4. sakthi says:

    She is eviscerated a demon.
    She is similiar to Archangel Michael.
    Go to New York and look at Michael please.
    I pray to both.
    So post on all mythology Latin,Greek,Spanish.Inca eccetera and tried find commonalities.
    they have feast of a pregnant pig in certain weddings in New york don’t they?

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