Tag Archives: God

Theyyam: the colors of God

Standard

Few weeks ago in a village nearby Kannur, Kerala.

IMG_4838

from wikipedia:

Theyyam (TeyyamTheyyattam or Thira) is a popular ritual form of worship of North of Kerala,  India…

…The dance or invocation is generally performed in front of the village shrine. It is also performed in the houses as ancestor-worship with elaborate rites and rituals.

There is no stage or curtain or other such arrangements for the performance. The devotees would be standing or some of them would be sitting on a sacred tree in front of the shrine…

…A performance of a particular deity according to its significance and hierarchy in the shrine continues for 12 to 24 hours with intervals. The chief dancer who propitiates the central deity of the shrine has to reside in the rituals. This may be due to the influence of Jainism and Buddhism. Further, after the sun sets, this particular dancer would not eat anything for the remainder of that day …

His make-up is done by specialists and other dancers…

…The dancer along with the drummers recites the particular ritual song, which describes the myths and legends, of the deity of the shrine or the folk deity to be propitiated…

…the dancer comes in front of the shrine and gradually “metamorphoses” into the particular deity of the shrine. He, after observation of certain rituals places the head-dress on his head and starts dancing. In the background, folk musical instruments like chenda, tuti, kuzhal and veekni are played in a certain rhythm…

…A performance is a combination of playing of musical instruments, vocal recitations, dance, and peculiar makeup (usually predominantly orange) and costumes.