Forehead pin

This fish hook, attached with 'vel-shaped' pins, is pierced around a devotee's forehead during 'Thaipusam', a Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community in the month of 'Thai' (January-February) and the day of the star, 'Pusam' around ‘Pournami’ (full moon). The festival commemorates the birthday of Lord Murugan (also Subramaniam), the youngest son of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a vel (lance) so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. On the day of the festival, the devotee may carry a kavadi, a semi-circular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders, to the temple carrying two pots of milk. Devotees also may pierce their skin, tongue or cheeks with vel.

Indigenous Name
Vel
Date/Period
20th century
Region
South India
Dimension
Object size: L7.4cm
Accession No.
XXXX-09242-011
Material
Wood
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Folklife Collection