Theyyam is one of the folk arts in North Kerala. Theyyam is believed to be Dravidian. From Payangadi river to north it is known as Kaliyattam and from Payangadi to Valapattanam,it is known as theyyam for very little variety.

Theyyam is the conecpt of performance of goddess. Performance of theyyam is known as Theyyattam and the appearance with costume is known as theyyeyakolam. The insistence of pilgrimage involves the mantra ritual, strategic ritual, ritual ritual, and foul ritual. They are mainly Mother Gods (egMuchchilBhagavathi). Also, the heroes are also worshiped as Thayyas (KathivanoorVeeran). It is said that there are about 500 theyyams. However, it is usually a hundred and twenty theyyams are generally performs.

There is a harmony between the tree worship, the mountain worship, the worship of the god, the worship of evil, the Siva and the Vaishnava worship, and the Theyyam. They are derived from the word ‘God’, says Hermann Gundert. Theyya’s performance is theyyattam. ChelanadAchuthaMenon says that they can be Theyya’s dance or a flame of fire. In Tamil, taivam is the equivalent of the voice of God.


Yakshagana is famous for the local art forms of India. The coastal area of Karnataka is the center of yakshagana. Yakshagana, also known as ‘Bayalatam’ is a fitting collection of Kerala’s unique drama Kathakali. But! Unlike Kathakali, the characters speak.

Yakshagana is a perfect piece of music and literary dance. All the themes of acting are in this. The Yakshagana is an art that mixes with food, aesthetic, a swimsak, and a chest. The Yakshagana is popular with the devotion and religious to the common man. A Yakshagana museum functioning at the ManjeshwarMahakaviGovindaPai Memorial and a Yakshagana Research Center in Government College, Kasaragod.

The earliest form of Yakshagana in ancient times was in the same manner in Karnataka. Subsequent to changes, the East and Western varieties were divided as two categories: Western Ghats such as Mysore, ChikkaMangaluru, Bellary follows Eastern style and Western style from Kasaragod to Honnavar. Ramayana, which was written in the period 1590-1620, is a mere stone in Yakshagana. The influence of Ramanattam is found in ParthiySubbaan’sKumbhala. The yards of Yakshagana are generally the goddesses. The Mahabharata, Ramayana and BhagavataPurana are usually presented by the legend, which establishes the success of truth and the failure of the falsehood.

In older times same story from 2 to twenty-two days would be presented. But nowadays in three or four hours, the story will be presented. The artists who feature colorful roles are introduced in the form of a variety of characters. Finally, all the actors come together and sing the Mangalaganga…

In earlier times women were not given the opportunity to participate in this system of tradition. For this reason men were playing women role. Men used to lengthen hair and learned walking. Today women represent characters. In the Yakshagana the costume and crowns that follow the costumes of Kathakali. The actor is wearing the crown that resembles the flames of Aadisesha. With the crown crowned. Green tease on face. Write the eyes and the eyebrows. Hastalakadakam, Tholpoot, Marmala, kazhutharam, Katcha, charamundu, kachumoni and chilamba uses in costume.

Kambala, Water Buffalo Race

A traditional water buffalo race in muddy waters held from December to march in Kasaragod. It is the native sport of Tulu nadu. The 'track' used for Kambala is a paddy field filled with slush. Two pairs of buffaloes are the contestants and they are controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In olden days, the winning pair of buffaloes was rewarded with coconuts and a bunch of plantains. Today Kambala has become an organized, professional sport which pulls a large crowd from different parts of the state. People place massive amounts of bets on the participating buffaloes and one can witness more than 20,000 spectators in a well organizedKambala, egging on and cheering the buffaloes to finish the race.

Arts and Fairs


Oppana is a song and dance ritual. It resembles the Kaikottikkalli practiced by women in Kerala. But it has more resembalnce to the song and dance ritual prevalent in Arabian countries, where women sit and sway their bodies as in a dance performance. It goes far into the night. It is held on the occasion of adorning the brides hand and feet with henna (Mailanchi). Circumcision of boys, first menstruation of girls, ceremonial bath of woman on the 14th day after parturition etc. on the occasion of henna ceremony eight or ten women sit around the bride and sing songs, or stand around her singing, in praise of the bride and dancing. On the night previous to the marriage, in the bridgroom’s house also his friends stand and sing in praise of the bridegroom. As an art it is performed in the stages and students and others irrespective of religion perform this art for competitions and in various functions. There are famous oppana troupes in the District. There is no doubt that it enchants the visitors.


Poorakkali is one of the prominent ritual art forms of northern Kerala, especially in Kasargod and Kannur district. It is staged by a group of artists in the Bhagavathy temple premises and infront of sacred BhagavathyKavus (groves) and shrines. This is an integral part of pooram festival celebrated during the month of Meenam (March-April). The festival lasts for 9 days, starting from karthika day to pooram day. Pooram is celeberated to praise and please the god of love named Kamadeva. Though pooram is mainly meant for the women folk and maiden young ladies poorakkali is performed by men folk. It is said that in ancient days poorakkali was performed by women folk. A group leader who is well versed in the art and poorakkali songs leads the other artists in the group, who is known as Panikkar. The song sung by the group leader is repeated by the other artists ,in chorus. This is a dance rhythmically around a sacred lamp with elegant steps. While dancing the players clap their hands uniformly to the tune of the song and according to the Thalam by the group leader. Poorakkali has got 18 different forms. Most often stories from the epic Ramayana constitute the subject matter of the ritual songs. The ritual dance form warrants intense training and good physical stamina. The forward and backward movements and the abrupt variations in the speed and directions enthrals the spectactors. Invariably poorakkali is followed by a dual of wits staged to test the intellectual capacity of the rival group leaders. This is known as Marathukali. Where in intrigating questions are put by one leader to the other side who is expected to answer suitably. This splendid ritual art form has become the monopoly of certain castes namely Yadavas or Maniyanis, Thiyyas (Ezhavas) Mukayas, Saliyas, etc. of Hindu religion.

Courtesy: the official website of Kasaragod