Maritheyyam, a ritual dance drama, is usually performed by Pulayas - a tribal community in Kannur District of Kerala. It is performed during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (July-August).
Also known as Mariyattam, it is played by men near Madaikkavu Temple. It is performed to get rid of the evil spirits such as Mari and Mamaya. Marikkalivan, Mamayakkalivan, Marikkalichi, Mamayakkalichi, Marikkuliyan and Mamayakkuliyan are the main characters of the play.
This dance is performed in accompaniment to the song depicting the myth of Maritheyyam. The performers wear beautiful wooden masks and costumes made of coconut leaves. Thudi and Chengila are among the musical instruments used in the performance.