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Perumkaliyattom Festival

Category - Festivals

Perumkaliyattom Festival

The Perumkaliyattom is an effort to keep an age-old ritual alive. This grand exhibition of Theyyam spectacles was conducted at Ramavilayam Kazhakam in Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala. Theyyam, an exotic and elaborate ritual art form which originated in Malabar or northern Kerala, is considered one of the oldest art forms of India.

Also known as Kaaliyattam, Theyyam is an intricate blend of dance, mime and music - and enshrines the rudiments of the ancient tribal practice of worshipping heroes and ancestral spirits. This ritual art form was an integral part of the deeply pious and ritual based lifestyle of the people of Malabar. The tales of valour and bravery, crime and punishment, love and hate, retribution and forgiveness that abounded in this land had given form to over 400 Theyyams.

It's the costume that gives Theyyam its spectacular grandeur. The sheer size of the headgear and other ornamental decorations are awe inspiring. Today Theyyam performances have dwindled to ritual offerings at a few temples in northern Kerala. Efforts are on to revive this unique art.


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