'Theyyam' beckons tourists

Theyyam beckons tourists
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‘Theyyam’ beckons tourists

Highlights

A visit to North Kerala during January and February is worth a visit as it is the peak season of the ' Theyyam ' - a very fascinating ritual performance practiced in the North Malabar region comprising of the Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad districts of Kerala.

A visit to North Kerala during January and February is worth a visit as it is the peak season of the ' Theyyam ' - a very fascinating ritual performance practiced in the North Malabar region comprising of the Kannur, Kasaragod and Wayanad districts of Kerala. Theyyam is more than an art form. The colourful theyyam costumes, the awesome head gears, the patterns and designs used on the body of the performers, the scintillating music, the chantings, the crowd and the divine aura created during the performance has anybody simply spellbound and mesmerised. Theyyams begin in October and is ritualistically performed till June.

Theyyam comes from the word 'Daivam' meaning God. Theyyam's have been practiced right from ancient times and they are perforned in kavus (sacred temple groves) . There are hundreds of kavus in the kannur region and each one attached to ancestral homes (tharavadu). The artistes who perform are considered and revered as the incarnates of God's, Godesses, Legendary heroes and heroines, warriors, ancestors, snakes, natural elements etc. They majestically move and dance according to the beat of the drums and after performance offer blessing to the devotees. Performers have to undergo diet, celibacy and abandon worldly pleasures.

Kandanar kelan, kathivanoor veeran, Nagakanni, Puthiyabagavathi, Gulikan, Makkam, Raktha chamundi are just some of the most popular in the long list of Theyyams. Domestic and Foreign tourists make a beeline to watch, study and shoot the performances. Watching and being part of this mesmerising performance really makes one not only joyous, excited and enthralled but also makes you feel a divine sensation that is inexplicable.

M Pradyu, Kannur

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