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Theyyam, Kannur

Theyyam Overview

Theyyam is one of the most outstanding folk arts of Kerala and has its origin in the northern parts of the state. Also called Thirayattam, (because every thira or village performed this ritualistic art at the village temple) this primitive ritualisic art demands long hours preparation before the performance. The Theyyam (a form or shape) represents a mythological, devine or heroic character. There are over 350 Theyysma in northen Kerala. The hood, headdress, face painting, Breast plate, bracelets, garlands and fabric of attire of each of these Theyyams are distinct and meticulously crafted according to the character presented. Musical accomaniments are chenda and veekuchenda (drums), elathalam and Kuzhal(horn). This art form is mostly performed in Bhagavathy temples. Performances are on between october and May. Thira is the main subdivision of Theyyam.

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