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KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER

ISSUE: 361

SEPTEMBER 2023

Gadhika - The tribal dance
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Gadhika Dance - The Cultural Dance with a Healing Power

Have you ever heard about a dance form that is performed to cure illness? The Adiya tribal community of Wayanad district who performs the Gadhika dance believes that this cultural art form can wipe out all diseases and troubles in life. The ritual is usually carried out during the Malayalam month of Midhunam (June to July). The dancers visit homes they have been invited to, dressed in simple and colourful attires. Men also dress up as women. The dialect used in the dance is a blend of Kannada and Tulu languages.

According to this tribal group, illnesses are caused by angry gods, and Gadhika is done to please them and heal the patient. The Moopan or the chief of the tribe, dressed in red is the principal performer who invokes Lord Shiva to help cure the patient.  This is done at the beginning of the performance. On Lord Shiva's directions, other deities like Chamundi, Maniamma, Malamkali and Karimkali are said to appear subsequently. The primary purpose of these entertainers is to greet the gods and goddesses when they arrive in answer to the invitation.  

Held annually, the performers in this dance-drama move rhythmically to the music as drummers and players of wind instruments do their part. The Gadhika comes in two different forms, Naattu Gadhika and Pooja Gadhika. Pooja Gadhika is carried out for ritualistic purposes, primarily to treat disease or as part of a ritual for the safe delivery of a child, whereas Naattu Gadhika is done in front of a large audience. 

Contact
DTPC Wayanad
Ph: +91 493 620 2134

Getting There
Nearest Airport: Calicut International Airport, about 94.2 km
Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station, about 87 km

  Topics: Wayanad   Tribe   Dance  

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