Tribal dance kerala


Kerala, the south-western tip of India has a variety of tribal communities. Of the 35 tribal communities of Kerala, the majority are settled in the mountain belts of the Malabar region. Around 65% of the total tribal population inhabit the districts of Palakkad, Wayanad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

Adiya, Irula, Hill Pulaya, Kanikkar, Kattunayakan, Kuruman, Kurichian, Malai Arayan, Kurumba, Kudiya, Mannan, Malayan, Muthuvan, and Paniya etc. are the names given to certain tribal communities residing in Kerala’s mountain belts. Each tribal sect has its own culture, which is distinguishable from other sects by its lifestyle, customs, rituals, beliefs, dress style, folk lore, dance and art forms. Also, each tribal sect has its own myths and legends behind its origin.

An inevitable part of the tribal culture is the practice of certain rituals followed through generations. Besides, the songs, folklore and dances form an integral part of tribal culture.

Tribal dances, unlike non-tribal dances, always have joint participation of both men and women. Some men beat the drums and play the flutes, while both men and women move in harmony with the music producing exclamatory noises along with rhythmic steps. At the end of the song a woman goes into a trance state, her whole body shuddering, while the men keep on making loud cries and dancing