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Margam Kali - A celestial bliss

Margam Kali is an art form of Kerala in South India, practiced by the Syrian Christians residing in the district of Kottayam.

The word margam literally means ‘way’ or ‘path.’ This art was practiced by the St.Thomas Christians much before the arrival of the Portuguese and was essentially a medium of religious propagation. The theme of the dance is the stories related to the life and contributions of the apostle, St.Thomas.

In Margam Kali, a group of female dancers move rhythmically around a lighted wick lamp. The lamp represents Christ and the performers his disciples. The dancers wear their traditional chattayum mundum.

While performing, the dancers sing for themselves. The act does not feature any instruments except two palm-sized cymbals, played by the same person who sings the song. It is usually the aasan or tutor who leads the singing.