Dance & Theatre
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Thottam- the invocation

Thottam is a ritual held a day before the actual Theyyam performance in temples. The Theyyam performer reaches the shrine and invokes the goddess with songs called Thottam Pattu and the beats of Chenda or Thudi (local drums).

The ritual is meant to get possessed by the goddess since the Theyyam performance is regarded as a revelation from the divine spirits. For Thottam, there will not be elaborate make-up. At the end of Thottam, the possession is believed to take place.

Featured in the video is the Thottam performance of Vishnumoorthy, a Theyyam figure. The venue is Adikkumpara Puthiya Bhagavathy temple near Thaliparamba in Kannur district.