India is renowned for its rich and unique art forms exclusive to each states! These culturally opulent and traditional art forms are entwined with the rural livelihood of India. Among these diverse forms of performing arts, the rich and colourful art forms of Kerala has a notable significance. Theyyam in North Malabar of Kerala is one amongst the famous ritual art forms of Kerala known for its uniqueness!
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Theyyam, otherwise known as Kaliyattam or Thirayattam, is one of the most outstanding folk arts of Kerala. It is a sacred ritual dance performed to glorify the goddess Kaali. Theyyam is predominant in the North Malabar of Kerala as a living cult with several thousand year old customs and rituals. Let's take a tour through the Land of Theyyam in Kerala and witness the astounding blend of Humans and Gods, turning in to one!
The Land of Theyyam - North Malabar in Kerala !
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Theyyam season started on 26th of October, this year (10th day in the Malayalam month of Tulam). For a few months now, colourful and pride Theyyam deities would dominate the streets of rural North Malabar! People of North Malabar considers Theyyam itself as gods and seek blessings from them.
Theyyam incorporates dance, mime and music, and enshrines the rudiments of ancient tribal cultures which attached great importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of ancestors. There are approximately 400 types of Theyyam of which Raktha Chamundi, Kari Chamundi, Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Wayanadu Kulaven, Gulikan and Pottan are the most spectacular ones!
The dance or invocation is generally performed in front of the village shrine. It is also performed in the houses as ancestor-worship with elaborate rituals and customs. The headgear and other ornamental decorations are spectacular in sheer size and appearance. The Theyyam represents a mythological or divine characters and the spirits of that Theyyam drifts into the artist who has assumed that spirit. It is a belief that the god or goddess comes in the midst of the gathering through the medium of the possessed dancer.
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The various forms of Theyyam can be distinguished through the use of facial make-up, captivating headgear, distinct colourful costume, body decoration with natural resources, and unique ornaments. Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Parassini, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi in north Kerala are places where Theyyam is performed annually from October to May.
Travel to the North Malabar of Kerala and get to know more about this one amongst the famous ritual and traditional art forms of Kerala. Witness the majestic Theyyam in the North Malabar of Kerala. Happy Travelling :)