Elements of Colonisation and Indigenisation

Changing Lucifer into Kali


  • Nevin Dalvin Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi




Indigenisation, Colonisation, Syrian Church, Church Mural, Demonisation


This article discusses the nature of indigenisation seen on the murals of Syrian Christian churches in Kerala, focussing on St. Mary’s Jacobite church in Angamaly, Ernakulam. Kerala has several churches with elaborate murals, which have not received sufficient attention, and quite a few questions remain unexplored. These church murals were formed out of interactions between the Portuguese, the church of the East and the local religion. In the 16th century, the Portuguese exerted control over Kerala churches that had formerly been affiliated with the Church of the East. Some of the questions addressed in the article are: What are instances of indigenization seen on church murals? What are the different kinds of indigenization visible? How does this weave into a global narrative? What is the colonial and decolonial politics behind such image representation? These areas are discussed in the following article.


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Author Biography

Nevin Dalvin, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Nevin Dalvin is a PhD scholar in Visual Arts at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. Before devoting his full time to research, he worked as a Domain Expert at Doordarshan, New Delhi. Nevin holds an MPhil in Visual Arts from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has a Master’s in Art History from National Museum Institute. He is also a History, Economics and Political Science graduate from Christ University, Bengaluru, India.


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How to Cite

Dalvin, N. (2023). Elements of Colonisation and Indigenisation: Changing Lucifer into Kali. Archivo Papers, 3(2), 51–67. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10038099