Theyyam- A Ritual Dance of Kerala Das Residency parassini

Theyyam- A Ritual Dance of Kerala

Kerala, the land of charity, is rich in folk-culture, visual arts and festivals. Different religions, groups and communities in their historical evolution have subscribed to the growth of a dreamlike panorama of dance and visual art forms in this region. Some of them are religious, highly ritualistic, but incorporate dance and music and colours and light. Even the geographical isolation of Kerala had not denied her the chance of inheritance of a common cultural heritage of India. As such the major developments in the cultural history of India had significant impact on the formation of organization of Kerala society. Theyyam is a form of worship where man dons the guise of God and propitiates the Gods through possessed dancing; Theyyam is also known by the name Kaliyaattom. The performance of Theyyam is supposed to make life prosperous and remove all hazards.

Theyyam can be considered as an idol. Ancient people believed that any obstacle that nature brought in front of him was caused by a power, which human intelligence could not decipher. The ancient man started idolising the various entities in nature like wind, air, water and so on. Sooner or later, man thought of spreading this invisible power into his own inner self.

One person among his group was made to empower him selves with these unseen power and he was considered to be a form of God. This could be the one of the many ways how the art form Theyyam came into existence. The most significant aspect which makes the Indian culture stand out from others is its inclination towards intellectual thinking and extra sensory. Intellectual thinking and its tracking are deep rooted in the whole culture and even in every day life. The nature has gifted Kerala with a lot of unique features both geographically and its culture. People belonging to different caste culture and religion got settled through land, water, war, invasion and various other methods. Thus Kerala has a unique multicultural, multicast system in the whole art forms being performed. Theyyam are usually performed in the Malabar region in Kerala state which include the Kannur, kasargode district, though it’s also seen in Calicut district in a slightly altered form.