KERALA, INDIA, May 10, 2017 (Euro News): In Kerala, a state in South India, the cult of Theyyam, a ritualistic folk art incorporating dance, mime, and music, is still alive. The ritual form of worship involves traditions that some say date back as far as neolithic times. These rituals, practiced across North Kerala’s Malabar region, are rooted in the natural world.
Annooran Balan Nenikkem, a senior Theyyam artist, said: “Every community has its own unique rituals. “When these rituals are performed, after lots of preparation, they believe this is a God – this is the truth.” Preparations begin hours before the performance with artists creating elaborate costumes made from palm leaves. Late into the night, the drums beat in rhythm as the performance gives way to a trance that can last until daybreak. It is believed at this point the performers are no longer men, but have transformed into Gods and the crowds are eager to seek their blessings.