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Theyyam

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A friend at work let us know about an India show called Teyyam that was being performed as part of the Singapore Arts Fest. This is a traditional Indian ritual that’s only performed in a certain region in India, and it was the first time it was being performed in Singapore.

From the net:

Theyyam (Theyyattam or Thira is a popular Hindu ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India, predominant in theKolathunadu area (consisting of present-day Kasargod, Kannur Districts, Mananthavady Taluk of Wayanad and Vadakara and KoyilandyTaluks of Kozhikode of Kerala. As a living cult with several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs, it embraces almost all the castes and classes of the Hindu religion in this region. The performers of Theyyam belong to the lower class community, and have an important position in Theyyam. This is unique, since only in Kerala, do both the upper-caste Brahmins and lower-caste tribals share an important position in a major form of worship. The term Theyyam is a corrupt form of Devam or God. People of these districts consider Theyyam itself as a God and they seek blessings from this Theyyam. A similar custom is followed in the Tulu Nadu region of neighbouring Karnataka known as Bhuta Kola.

There are four performances in all, but it was too dark for me to capture them. The last performance though, involved some flames, which gave good light for photos.

The costumes and make up were amazing, it turned out to be quite a sight to behold and the drummers kept an amazing pace and rhythm for the dance.

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