Sages of the New Covenant
Sages of the New Covenant promotes local culture and indigenous methods of ministry. Tamizh language has three types of expression, namely Iyal (spoken and written form), Esai (music) and Nadakam (drama). Villuppattu is one genre of Tamizh music.
Pr Pon Nesan started a children ministry after his B Th graduation from Presbyterian Theological College, Dehradun, India, which later grown into a church. In addition to being a pastor for 40 people, after the demise of his father Eva. Pon Lazarus, Bro. Nesan, who was a co-artist at his father’s band, took his father’s position, as a primary Villu-artist and doing ministry through Villuppattu.
Villuppaatu is a combination of two words: Vil (Bow) and Pattu (Song) and this genre of music got this name, as a bow kept in upward position is used as a primary musical instrument. It is also known as Villadichampattu and is an ancient form of musical story-telling where narration is interspersed with music, art of South Kerala and Thirunelvelli, Thoothukkudi and Kanyakumari districts of of Tamil Nadu. Simple tunes and simple verses make the story to be followed easily.
In Tamizh villages, ‘Villu artists’ narrate stories ranging from mythological to social. The main storyteller narrates the story striking the bow. The bow usually rests on a Kadam (mud pot kept facing downwards). A co-performer beats the pot while singing. There is usually another co-singer who acts as active listener to the narration, uttering appropriate oral responses. There are also Udukku, Thala Kattai, which are used as supplementary instruments in performances. Occasionally, the Villuppattu team divides itself into two groups, each trying to prove opposite points-of-view of a subject. This is called Lavani Pattu. The songs used by the Villuppattu artists are mostly traditional folk-songs. They are played during occasions of temple festivals in villages. These days the number of artists performing Villuppaatu is tremendously reduced.
Eva. (Late) Pon Lazarus, an evangelist from Tamizh Nadu was using his form of art to narrate the Bible stories like: Samson, Jonah and more importantly the life of Jesus Christ. There used to be great demand for such form of story-telling during the lent.
The Christian Villuppattu by various artist are galleried at:
Please visit the webpage and get to know the nature of Villuppattu - Story narration through folk music genre of Thamizh Nadu.
Pastor Pon Nesan Lazarus is perusing this form of art, which he has learnt from his mentor father Eva. Pon Lazarus.
He is doing this form of ministry only to perpetuate this art form and to follow the contextualized method of evangelism. He do not charge any money for being the primary artist; but the organizers have to meet out the travel cost of Bro, Pon Nesan and his band, in addition to paying a nominal amount for the co-artists. Those who are interested in this form of ministry, please contact us:
Mrs Navamalar Johnson is friend of my mother, when my parents lived in V.G.P. Murphy Nagar, Perumalpuram, Thirunelvelli. God has gifted 'Malar' aunty with the gift of writing Thamizh poems and in 1972 she started practicing Villuppattu and mastered this art form. Under the aegis of SOW Prayer Fellowship (உலக இரட்சகர் ஜெபக்குழு), she has conducted several Villuppattu concerts in all churches of Thirunelvelli and Thoothukkudi districts, in additions to few other cities in Thamizh Nadu and in few cities of India, outside Thamizh Nadu.
After mastering the Villuppattu genre, Mrs Johnson has included maim show artists doing drama, while she performs the Villuppattu and created a new genre of art form known as "Drama Villuppattu". Due to age, Mrs Navamalar Johnson is unable to conduct programs very frequently and she wants others to come forward to continue the Villuppattu ministry. Hence she has brought-out the poems of “கல்வாரிக்கு வழிநடத்தும் வேதாகம வில்லுப்பாட்டு” in the form of small book.
The copies of this book can be purchased from her for Rs 25/-. Villuppattu artist, who would like to perform the story of "Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained" as Villuppattu, I suggest they by this book. Those who would like to buy this book, please contact us:
Sages of the New Covenant