Ayyappan theeyattu - a ritual dance

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Ayyappan theeyattu, also called Ayyappan koothu, is a type of pantomime, enacted as a ritual dance in some temples of Kerala, South India.

The background for this dance is created by drawing on the floor elaborate designs with coloured powders made of natural colours. The drawing is known as kalam. The dancers also wear equally colourful costumes, representing various deities.

As the performers pantomime, background music is provided to help with the story and to make the display more effective. Percussion instruments like chenda and veekkan chenda, and cymbals, called ilathalam, are used as accompaniment.

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