Dance & Theatre
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Theyyam at Vayanattu Kulavan Temple

Theyyam or Theyyattam is a spectacular ritual art of Kerala popular in the northern districts. Theyyam derives its name from the word Daivam, which means God.

In this art form, the dancer himself is conceived as the deity. Theyyam has its roots running deep in the tradition of hero worship. The folk element of Theyyattam is very much evident in its costume, foot work and ritualistic vitality.

The costume of the Theyyam performer is captivating. It comprises of a large headgear and body decorations full of intricate and mystical designs.

Sree Thayyil Vayanattu Kulavan temple at Kuruva in Kannur is one among the places where the Theyyam tradition is well preserved. The annual Vellattam festival of this small village shrine is a grand affair.

A variety of Theyyam performances will be featured in the festival. Some of the main Theyyams are Vayanattu Kulavan, Gulikan and Puliyoor Kannan. In the video, one such performance is featured, where the dancer, in his trance, becomes one with the deity as the awe-stricken devotees look on.