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Many old traditions have remained, though they are sparsely performed in few villages. These give us an insight of the happenings in the past. One of the folk performances which have been able to continue its existence is the zagor, which is performed in the villages.Zagor, is a prayer to almighty for the protection from every evil that falls on the village. It is a nocturnal vigil of the deity which begins with prayers at the mand (scared spot in the village) from where the torch-light procession called sauri proceeds to the stage.

There are three versions of zagors prevalent in Goa: Gauda, Kunbi and Pernni.In the Kunbi version the main characters are Turamatti (prime minister), Nikhandar (army chief) and Parpotti (collector). Canacona’s Perni zagor is rather different from the rest because the performers use masks. In this form of folk-drama the female roles are played by women, who dedicate themselves to this service and remain unmarried.

They are sub-group of devadasis and undergo the shensa-vidhi. Social changes and major events that affect the people find room in the zagor; hence its content is not purely orthodox. It is devoid of a consistent text of storyline, but consists of a series of unconnected small skits, enacted by the same characters.


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