Theyyam - where the dancer becomes the deity kerala

Theyyam is a ritual art popular in the Malabar region of Kerala, India. The Malabar region comprises the northern districts of the state.

The word Theyyam is the corrupt form of Daivam meaning God. This is an awe inspiring art form with colourful and mysterious settings.

The large headgear, ornamental decorations and colourful make-up make the Theyyam performance spectacular.

The facial make-ups for male and female characters are different. Natural colours, sandalwood, camphor, turmeric, red sandalwood, lime, rice and rice flour are some of the raw materials used to prepare the make-up.

There are about 400 varieties of Theyyams.

Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi in north Malabar are places famous for Theyyam performances.

Theyyam performances are held during the season from December to April. At the Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple in Kannur, Theyyam is preformed on all days.