Padayani Festivals

Yakshi Kolam 

Yakshi Kolam 

A variety of Yakshi kolams are staged in Padayani festivals of Kerala. The list of Yakshi kolams goes on like Sundara, Anthara, Ambara, Arakki, Erinaga, Ayali, Maya, Kolana, Muyali, Kodiyana, Thoomozhi and Kala yakshi. Each kolam has its own characteristic feature, expression, and style of performance. 

Sundara Yakshi 
The Sundara Yakshi Kolams represent exquisite beauty. The decorations of Sundara Yaskhi are made of tender palm leaves. The kolam uses Nenchumala (chain), Aramala (waist chain), and tender coconut leaf skirt and also holds kavukinpookula (areca inflorescence) in her hands. Sundara Yakshi Kolams always perform in a group of minimum 4 and a maximum of 6 or 8 kolams. 

Anthara Yakshi 
The Anthara Yakshi kolam wears a crown shaped mask. To make her costume it takes nine spathes of areca palm. She wears a Nenchumala (chain) and Aramala (waist chain). She holds kavukinpookula (areca inflorescence) in her two hands and also has a kachamani on her legs. A tender coconut leaf skirt is the other feature. The face of the mask is painted using Manayola (green paste) or Chayilyam (charcoal paste). 

Akasha Yakshi or Ambara Yakshi 
The Goddess of Skies is represented through Akasha Yakshi. A curtain is used for the advent of Akasha Yakshi to the arena. In certain temples, there was the custom of bringing Ambara Yakshi in a palanquin. The costume of Akasha Yakshi is similar to that of Anthara Yakshi. The difference is in the performance. 


Arakki Yakshi performance at Elanthoor

Arakki Yakshi 
Arakki Yakshi kolam is almost extinct now from Padayani stages. This kolam has a frightening appearance. This kolam like other yakshi kolams does not have any caps. The space for the face is cut out and the upper side of the face is made to project in a slanting manner. The face is painted black. From other Yakshi kolams, the performance Arakki yakshi uses thullal mara (a curtain)

Maya Yakshi 
Maya Yakshi kolam represents the Goddess of both creation and destruction. The costumes of Maya Yakshi are same as that of other Yakshi kolams, this is also a crowned kolam. The performer carries a pantham (lighted torch) and vaal (sword) in its hands. Usually, the Kolam Thullal ends with the dance of Maya Yakshi. 


Kaala Yakshi Kolam at Elanthoor

Kaala Yakshi 
Kaala Yakshi is the most terrible of all Yakshi kolams. The Kolam of Kaala Yakshi is made with twenty-one spathes. Throughout the performance, fear is the dominant element. The face of Kaala Yakshi is painted in black and it wears red silk skirt and above it, a skirt made of tender coconut leaves and Ilanji flowers.