They say that every night a shadowy figure takes a walk around each village, keeping things in check, looking after the place and its people – guiding lost children home, keeping thieves away, or straightening out people who misuse their land. They take the same route around fields, forests and wetlands, meandering their way through the dark. If someone builds a wall obstructing their way they find it in ruins the next morning.


Drawing from the stories and guardian myths of Rakhandars, who are believed to be village protector spirits in Goa, this collaborative process addresses the current context of insider-outsider negotiations and wider questions of permeability in Goa.

Altodi Poltodi (which means 'This shore, That shore' in Konkani language) provokes an image of these figures, what they seek to protect and where they draw the line of their threshold.

Here is one such narrative where we (dare I say), crossed paths with him.

2. Rakhandar literally translates to ‘the protector’ or ‘the one who protects’. He {we say he because he is always a male figure} is tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the village and the villagers from the ‘outsiders’. Our question when beginning this research was simple: Who and/or what is he actually protecting?

3. Priests are preparing the Rakhandar for a pooja ceremony to be performed later in the day. He is adorned with a mask, flowers, shawl (blanket), leather or wooden shoes and banana leaves. On the right, you see his swords resting against the wall.

His image was not supposed to exist. But, for the contexts beyond his village, we made one.


Date: March 7, 2022

Place: Shri Betal Temple, Loliem, Galgibag Beach Road, South Goa.

4. The Rakhandar (Rakhno) has a specific path he has been walking each night. He begins at his home (a shrine on the outskirts of the village) and circles the village's periphery. During our time in Goa we walked across many villages. Sometimes gleaning images or stories and at others, sculpting narratives.