It’s ‘Theyyam’ season for North Kerala
The northern parts of Kerala is all set for the much-awaited Theyyam season that witnesses festivities and ritual dances. The Theyyam season begins in the Malayalam month of `Thulla' and will last till the onset of the monsoon season in May.
Theyyam evolves from Kaliyattam practiced by aboriginal tribes of northern regions of the state. Kaliyattam is an annual festival attached to the shrines known by the names like muchilod, kavu, palliyara, mundya, tanam, madhapura all in the districts of kannur.
Kunhimangalam near Payyanur in Kannur district is famous as the seat of Kadamkot Makkam Theyyam. Every year in the month of February Kadamkot Makkam Theyyam festival in Kunghimangalam attracts large number of devotees from different parts of Kerala and Karnataka.
Theyyam is a ritualistic dance with its rare and grotesque make-up and costume, lively foot work, gymnastic fervour and ritualistic vitality. It represents a glorious period of folk life in Kerala and is the worship of spirits by invoking them to the mortal body of the dancer who impersonates them and gives blessing to the believers.
The rituals take centre-stage in houses, sacred groves called Kaavu and in temples in Kerala's Kannur and Kasaragod districts during this season.
Thousands of village artists are busy making colourful headgears, costumes, and face designs for the traditional festival. Tender coconut leaves are used in making costumes and headgears, which hold an important place in the ritual.
Theyyam or "daivam" (god,) captivates the psyche of the people as performers "transform" into deities and receive offerings from devotees.
Theyyam is popularly known as Kaliyattam in the Malabar region, is an age old ritual dance, accompanied by "thottams" (narrative songs) and drumbeats.
There are nearly 400 "Theyyams" representing various local deities, and legendary and mythological characters.A single dance performance comprises of over 15 people, including artists, drummers and singers.
The cost of conducting a Theyyam performance starts from Rs. 35,000 and can go up to Rs. 35 lakh. The entire cost of the performance is borne by the designated temple committee from the money collected from villagers.
Tags: Kerala , Theyyam , Kannur , Kasargode , Kaliyattam
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