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Theyyam - The human god
Kerala, a beautiful state, has more variety of cultural traditions in the nation and the state hosts a variety of events and celebrations to highlight its rich culture and traditions. The vibrant and varied festivities of Kerala are incredibly well liked and draw visitors from all over the world. Ancient mythology about gods, goddesses, saints, heroes, and devils who once roamed this wonderful region is revived via Kerala's annual celebrations.
Theyyam, a religious and ritualistic dance drama that originated in Malabar, Kerala's northern region, is one of the most unique and amazing events one may experience there. Theyyam is a visual delight with its vibrant pageantry and energetic dance maneuvers as well as a feast for the ears with its mesmerizing chants and rhythmic drumbeats. From October through March, Theyyam is celebrated with pomp and rigor.
Theyyam reveals the pasts and stories of ancient times by combining mime, music, and dance. Theyyam is not just a performance but a possessed performance. This appearance is typically a locally revered form of a significant Hindu deity Vishnu, Shiva, Bhagavati, etc. or occasionally a historical figure or mythological hero. Since the effects of the possession on the medium's body can be highly taxing, each performance is preceded by a ritual fasting and purification period.
There are 400 different forms of Theyyam, each with its own distinct style, melody, and choreography. The extravagant clothes and heavy makeup worn by the performers give them a distinctive appearance that draws viewers' attention. The ornaments, headgear, and choreography are so magnificent and powerful that they evoke awe, dread, and astonishment in the audience. Some Theyyams involve blood sacrifices in addition to strenuous movements and noises. An entirely distinct society and set of beliefs are revealed through this ritualistic art form.
Where does Theyyam performance happen?
Theyyam rituals are typically performed in the vicinity of a small shrine known as a Kaavu, Kazhakam, Muchilottu, Mundiya, or Sthanam, in the yard of an ancestral home, or in an open area with a temporary shrine known as a "Pathi" or Sthanas ." Villagers gather to see the ceremony as the dance is performed in front of the Sthanas, where the spirits once lived.