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What is Theyyam?


Recently, Kerala Tourism department have started live streaming of an annual temple festival called Theyyam performances, to promote cultural tourism.


GS I- Art and Culture

What is Theyyam?

  • Theyyam is a popular ritual form of dance worship in Kerala and Karnataka, India.
  • It is also performed during the ‘Kaliyattam festival’.
  • It is a popular tradition of thousands of years old based on dance prayer performed in temples of South India, especially Kerala and Karnataka.
  • Most Theyyams are believed to be the incarnations of Shiva or Shakti (the consort of Shiva). Or they have strong associations with these principal deities of Hinduism.
  • Theyyam is performed by males, except the Devakoothu theyyam; the Devakoothu is the only Theyyam ritual performed by women.
  • Theyyam incorporates aspects of tribal and primitive religion through the worship of deities, warriors, tribal gods and Muslim characters based on ancient fables.
  • During the performance artists do a lot of adornment and wear royal clothes and jewellery.
  • It is performed only in the Thekkumbad Kulom temple.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023