Pooja Gadhika//a ritual dance of the Adiya tribe, a major tribal community in Kerala. The Pooja Gadhika is one of the two types of Gadhika, art form


Video of Pooja Gadhika, a ritual dance of the Adiya tribe, a major tribal community in Kerala. The Pooja Gadhika is one of the two types of Gadhika, an art form peculiar to this tribe. While Naattu Gadhika is staged publicly, Pooja Gadhika is performed only for ritualistic purposes. Shown in the video is an excerpt from a Pooja Gadhika.

The Pooja Gadhika is performed to cure ailments and for the safe delivery of children. The Moopan, chieftain of the tribe, will be the principal performer. The art form is presented like a dance drama in which the artistes dance and move rhythmically. They are accompanied by musicians who play wind instruments and drums popular among the tribal communities. The dialect is a mix of Kannada and Tulu languages.

The ritual starts with the principal performer invoking Lord Shiva. It is believed that later upon Lord Shiva’s command some other gods including Chamundi, Maniamma, Malamkali and Karimkali arrive at the place. The rhythmic dancing of the participants is said to welcome the gods. The costumes are simple, yet colourful.

Performing here are the members of the Adiya community in the district of Wayanad. The chief performer is the late P.K. Kaalan, the then Moopan of the tribe and former Chairman, Kerala Folklore Academy.