Popularly known as ‘Kaliyattam’, Theyyam is a traditional dance ritual popular in the northern part of Kerala. From a point of view of a naïve traveler, I found Theyyam as a combination of mime, music and dance in a very gracious way. The ritual is all about paying tribute to their fallen heroes and ancestors through music and gestures. In astonishing piece of information that I garnered here, there have been more than 400 Theyyam performances and out of them the most notable ones include Raktha Chamundi, Kari Chamundi, Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Wayanadu Kulaven, Gulikan and Pottan. Theyyam is performed by people belonging to Vannan castes, either in front of shrines – on stage or behind curtains.
Theyyam ritual is divided into two essential parts of the beginning, known as ‘Thudangal’ and the invocation, also known as ‘Thottam’. It is also a very interesting piece of information on Theyyam being known as ‘Thira’ in the southern part of Kerala or ‘Malabar’. The artists who does the ritual wears ornaments that appear really heavy and big in size. For those who are looking forward to see the ritual in person, feel free to pay a visit to north Malabar regions of Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi. Make sure you go there in between the months of December to April.
However, you may also catch the performance in Kannur, Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple.



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