Kummatti - the folk art

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 Video of Kummattikali, a folk art form of Kerala, India. Performed during the Onam festival, this mask dance is popular in the district of Thrissur (formerly called Trichur). The performers wear colourful masks and sport sprigs of leaves and grass. They go dancing from house to house followed by cheering spectators.

Songs dealing with devotional themes are sung to the accompaniment of a bow like instrument called ‘Onavillu’. The main characters are various Hindu gods and a popular character is ‘Thalla’ (an old woman, sort of a sorceress). No formal training is required to perform the Kummattikali, and often the spectators too join in the dance.  

 

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