Mudiyettu, Kerala( Ritual art form) at temples





This is ritualistic dance springing from the Bhagavathy cult. The theme depicts the gloryand triumph of
Bhagavathy over the
demon Darika. The
characters are all heavily
made up with gorgeous
costumes, intricate and
elaborate and with
conventional facial
paintings, tall headgears
etc. Attired and
adorned exotically with
a unique weirdness and
hideousness, the
characters seem quite
supernatural. Their mien and array make them colourful, imposing and awe-inspiring in the
extreme. The dance is performed by a set of people known as Kurappanmar, mainly in Bhadrakali
temples.
In the dance, a kolam of Kali is first made up to which floral offerings and other rituals
are made. Then it is taken round the temple to the accompaniment of percussion instruments.
The kolam is then installed in a suitable place. The dance proper is then enacted. In the first part
Narada, the celestial sage, is seen informing Lord Shiva of the evil deeds of the demon Darika,
and the consequent sufferings of the people. Shiva agrees to send Bhadrakali to kill Darika. In
the next phase, Bhadrakali and Darika enter and the whole temple yard is turned into a battlefield.
In the end Bhadrakali kills Darika. Chenda and elathalam are the instruments used.