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Mudiyettu

 

Mudiyettu is a ritual dance performed in some Kaali temples of Ernakulam and Kottayam districts (central Kerala). The dance celebrates the goddess's triumph over the demon Daarikan. Mudiyettu is performed by the Kuruppu or Marar who belong to the temple bound communities of Kerala.

The Kalamezhuthu, a ritual drawing of the goddess Kaali is made on the floor with dyed powders, before the performance. Then the chorus sings hymns in praise of the goddess.

Before the actual performance, the dancer erases the Kalam with tender palm fronds. The performer in the role of Kaali is aided by 'Koimpata Nayar', the local guide and Kooli, the attendant. Legends say that Daarikan, the epitome of evil, challenged Kaali to a duel. Kaali slayed Daarikan, with the blessings and grace of Lord Siva.

The performers of Mudiyettu are all heavily made up and wear gorgeous attire with conventional facial paintings, tall headgears etc, to give a touch of the supernatural. The wooden headgear has a mask of Kaali. An ornamental red vest and a long white cloth around the waist complete the attire.

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