Tuesday, September 25, 2012



Mudiyettu is seen commonly in Southern Kerala Bhadrakali Temples.This is also  known as 'Mudiyeduppu'.In Kali temples of 'Kanyakumari'  district this is known as 'Paranettu'.A crown depicted with image of Bhadrakali which is made of wood is placed on a specially made stage with respect and devotion.This is called as 'Mudi' which is carried on head by the dancer and dances to the tune of songs and percussion instruments  representing as 'Kali' with necessary make up and attire.There are other characters such as Lord Shiva,Sage Narada,Demon Darika,Kooly,Koimbidar etc.Demon Darika character
will stand on another stage and challenge Kali Devi.Both of them get down from the stage and the fight begins.The viewers watch all such scenes with devotion.The Demon will be killed after a long fight.
Mudiyettu got UNESCO recognition in 2010 as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.This is the second art form to get this recognition in UN list and the first one to get this recognition was 'Koodiyattam'.
Kaliyoottu is similar dramatical ritualistic event in which Kali-Darika fight is the theme.The ritualistic activities in this respect may extend to nine or eleven days.A group dance known as 'Vellattamkali'  is usually performed in front of Bhadrakali Deity.
Thidambu Nritham
This is a dance form performed by the priests of Northern Kerala in certain Temples.They will carry the idol used for procession on their head and dances
according to special tunes.The priests uses traditional dress,head dress and ornaments.They dance to the music of instruments such as 'Chenda,Ilathalam,sruthi,Kuzhal,etc'.They have to dance in rhythms like 'Thakiladi,Adantha,Chembada,Panchari etc'.
Arjuna Nritham
Pandava  Prince Arjuna propitiated Bhadrakali Devi after Kurukshetra war dressed up with special attire  using peacock feathers also.This dance form is performed commemorating this event.This dance is also termed as 'Mayil Thookkam'.
Garudan Thookkam
Lord Vishnu sent his vehicle 'Garuda Bird' to Bhadrakali devi after her fight with Darika the Demon to make her calm.This dance form is performed dressing up as a Garuda and also known as 'Garudan Parava'.
Sarpa Pattu
At Mannarsala,Vettikottu,Nagercoil Naga Temple etc Sarpa Pattu is performed to propitiate 'Naga' deities.The images of 'Snakes'(Nagas) are drawn with five different colour powders and members of 'Pulluvar community' sings songs meant for this purpose while some other women  of this community dances 
in peculiar traditional manner.
Ivar Kali

It is believed that Pandavas performed this dance form to propitiate Bhadrakali Devi.Special songs are sung and dances rhythmically. 
Kalamezhuthu Pattu

Like as in Sarpa pattu, the depictions of deities like 'Vettakkoru Makan,Bhadrakali,Vairajathan,Nagam,Yakshi etc' are made with coloured powder and devotional songs are sung in celebration.
This ritualistic event is mostly performed in Trissur,Palakkad and Malappuram Districts.Bhadrakali Devi is propitiated in this art form also.'Para,Chenda,Maddalam,Ilathalam,Kombu,Kuzhal etc' are used as musical instruments.
Kanyar Kali
Kanyar Kali is seen mostly in Palakkad District.This art form is divided in to  two sections as 'Vattakali and Purattu'.Vattakkali is ritualistic and starts after events such as 'Panthal Pravesham and Deepa Pradakshinam'.There will be dance performance with traditional songs.This art form will be completed in four days.
Theeyattu is also a dance form to propitiate Bhadrakali Devi and is performed in Central Travancore and in some other areas of Kerala.A single dancer wearing a crown with the depiction of Bhadrakali Devi dances and the theme is  Bhadrakali-Darika fight.The members of a community known as 'Unni' usually performs it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


There are several folklore drama varieties in Kerala which are all having very ancient tradition.Some are meant for ritualistic purposes whereas many others are for entertainment purposes only.These kind of dramas use musical instruments like "Murichenda,Kudam,Veena,Thudi,Udukku,Cheenikuzhal,Olakkinnam,Chenda,Chengila,Thoppimaddalam,Thakil,Kuzhithalam,Maddalam" etc.Many of these drama varieties were performed by particular communal groups previously but now a days anybody who are  trained   can perform them.Folklore songs are also used for the manifestation  of such art forms traditionally.There is only a narrow boundary to separate folklore dramas from folklore dance varieties.These art forms become appealing to the audience because of the excellence of the songs used for them and the  enchanting orchestra accompanying them.
A picture of ancient Kerala can be understood from some of the folklore songs.The relationship between Arabs and Kerala, trade relation between some other places in India,details of some ancient ports,details and description to make wooden cruise ships, etc are known from some folklore songs.
At  Central Travancore areas and in all  parts of  Trivandrum District "Kakkarassi Nadakam' is very popular.(Nadakam=Drama).It has a mixed flavour of 'Purattu Kali' and musical drama.This art form  is also known as 'Kakkala Nadakam,Kakkalichi Nadakam,Kakkaru Kali' etc also.This drama form came in to existence from the belief that Lord Shiv-Parvathi used to wander in the form as 'Kuravan' and 'Kurathi' (A community group of people who loved travelling).Dance,Music and Acting are mingled nicely in this art form.Musical instruments such as 'Mridangam,Ganchira,Harmonium,Ilathalam,' etc are used for it.This drama variety is used effectively to tease  the social evils prevailing in the society and corrupted leaders.
In the folklore drama varieties it is not difficult for the audience to understand the theme.The audience may also get chance to directly involve in them or to say their opinion or ask questions  directly to the characters.When the character is depicted as a  deity or God the people used to describe their sorrows and demands directly to them.There were  no particular stages made for many of these dramas but performed in the centre of a group of villagers on the ground itself usually in the compound of Bhagavathi Temples known as 'Kavu'.The relationship between the dancers and audience is revealed today also from the art forms such as "Theyyam,Thira,Theeyattu,Mudiyettu,Kaliyoottu,Padayani,Chimmanakkali,Kothamooriyattam' etc.
"Mudiyettu,Kaliyoottu,Paranettu,Mudipechu' etc are termed as 'Kali Nadakam' or dramas related to Goddess 'Kali'.The theme  is Kali-Darika fight.During the course of time dramas such as 'Kurathiyattam,Chavittu nadakam,Meenakshi Kalyanam,Kamsa Nadakam, Sanghakkali'etc evolved.
'Malayikoothu' is seen at a temple of Kannur District.'Kannikettu' is another drama found in Kannur District.'Theyyattu' is found in Kozhikkodu district which is ritualistic.
'Kamsa nadakam' and 'Meenakshi Kalyanam' imitates Kathakali.'Kakkarassi Nadakam and Kurathiyattam are meant for entertainment purposes.'Ezhamathu kali'  and 'Seethakali' of Kollam district are also for entertainment.Purattu nadakam is very popular in north Kerala which are in many names such as 'Eravakali,Aandikoothu,Vallonkali,Malamakkali' etc.
'Chaliya porattu,Kothamuriyattam, etc are all folklore drama varieties.
Drama variety used to comment on social evils is 'Chimmanakkali'.This same purpose was intended for 'Kenthron Pattu'  "Kannal Pattu'  'Maaran Pattu' etc also.