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Theyyam Travel Guide 2014-2015. Theyyam, the powerful ritual performance of Kerala is going to be the main attraction of Kerala Tourism sector. We provide complete travel options for those who plan to visit Kannur to experience Theyyam. Please or contact

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  1. 1. Theyyam Travel Guide Welcome to the world of Theyyam
  2. 2. Welcome to the world of Theyyam • Theyyam – the ritualistic performance, which can be described as the most visible, spectacular art form of Malabar (Northern part of Kerala, India), associated with myths and legends. Theyyam can also be described as a form of worship consisting of rituals, colorful costumes and divine dance through which the gods are appeased and honoured. Theyyam – the form of worshipping gods, goddesses, legendary heroes etc is based on a rather simple concept, that after suitable propitiatory rituals, the god or goddess belonging to a temple becomes temporally manifest in the body of an empowered man (the performer), thereby elevating him to a divine status. Theyyam ceremonies usually take place either within the precincts of a small shrine – usually called Kavu, Kazhakam, Muchilottu, Mundiya, Sthanam etc or in the yard of an ancestral house, or in an open space with a temporary shrine called pathi. ©
  3. 3. Beauty of Theyyam ©
  4. 4. Man to God • After wearing the headdress the actual moment of "becoming" the deity, the moment of crossing the line, as he stares into a small hand-held mirror. It is at this point that, almost imperceptibly, he slips into another state of being, his eyes widening as they focus not on his own reflection, but on the enigmatic features of a divine being. This is the moment of fusion, the defining moment known as mukhadarshanam, or the seeing of the face. It is the moment when a mortal becomes a god. ©
  5. 5. Man to God ©
  6. 6. Origin of Theyyam • According to Hinduism, all the creation-preservation- destruction activities in the universe are controlled by the three Gods – Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara (Shiva), respectively. For upholding righteousness, these gods appears in many godly guises and incarnations. For propitiation of these gods, apart from ritualistic worship and sacrifices, man also gave form to donning their godly forms and performing as another form of worship. These became a part of their culture, underwent many changes over time, and is an evolution of the clan culture. It is very difficult to find out the exact period of the origin of theyyam. At the same time none can refute its antiquity. ©
  7. 7. Vayalatam ©
  8. 8. Divity of Theyyam • Theyyam reveals the human capabilities of abstraction, synthesis, and idealization; it describes social andeconomic activities and reveals practices, beliefs and ideas. It provides a unique insight into spirituality,intellectual life and cultural adventures. It is a divine dance with ancient testimony of customs, traditions and artistic creativity. Shrines, ancestral houses, Kavus in villages offer the platform for theyyam festivals. Since the theyyam performer, transforms to the status of a particular deity, theyyam is very much a divine dance. Invoking god or goddess in his body, he dances through the compound of the sacred space where deities are worshipped. The dance is considered not for propitiating gods or goddesses, rather it is dance of the gods or goddesses themselves. ©
  9. 9. Stages of Theyyam Performances • The first stage of almost all theyyam performances is either a tottam, in which a performer with simple costume and minimal make up comes before the shrine and recites the invocatory songs or tales of the deity, or comes before the shrine wearing a more elaborate costume and make up as vellattam, which performs an energetic dance as usually associated with the story of that particular theyyam. After the singing of tottam pattu and performing some rituals, the performer retires to prepare for the actual theyyam performance, a process beginning with the application of intricate facial make-up whose every line is symbolic, and ending with the donning of the elaborate costume. ©
  10. 10. Theyyam with tall headdress ©
  11. 11. Theyyam Costumes • The costume as well as the facial make-up of each theyyam varies according to the role and myth of the form, which speaks volumes of the nature of the particular theyyam. Using indigenous pigments and other materials the artistes themselves prepare most of the costumes. The costumes of Theyyam are made out of cutting and painting coconut sheaths in black, white and red patterns, fresh coconut fronds form skirts, fashioning breasts out of dry coconut shells and tying a red cloth around the waist. The facial decorations are intricately designed with enriched symbolism. Theyyam is performed in the courtyard of a house or village temple, as the artist gets ready and the spirit of the deity is evoked during the nighttime. The hood, headdress, face painting, breastplate, bracelets, garlands and fabric of attire of each theyyam are distinct and meticulously crafted. ©
  12. 12. Theyyam Costumes ©
  13. 13. Theyyam Performers • Theyyam’ performers belong to one of the Hindu communities (Malayan, Vannan, Velan (Thuzhuvelan), Koppalan, Mavilan, Chingatthan, Panan, Parayan, Pampatharavan, anhuttan, Munnuttan etc.). Each individual caste has the right to perform certain deities and all performers must poses a wide range of extraordinary skills. They must know the ritual and character of every deity. They have the inherited right to perform, know-how to sing, dance with the drum, do the complicated make-up and dress their costumes. Theyyam artistes are male. It is not a profession or calling that can be adopted. The artist's shrine rights are always inherited from the mother's family and when he marries, he also acquires the shrine rights of his wife's family. The artistes share a common training and tradition in which the process of becoming the deity is achieved after intense mental, physical and spiritual preparation. All Theyyam artistes must be able to do much more than just perform. ©
  14. 14. Temples (Kavu) • The staging area of Theyyam is known as kaavu. Kazhakam, Muchilottu, Mundiya, Sthhaanam, Kottam, are the other names for the staging area. Theyyam is also performed at home and fields by erecting temporary pathi as the staging area. Angakulangara Kavu, Oravankara Kavu, Kakkara Kavu, Kappattu Kavu, Chembilot Kavu, Kannangattu Kavu, Karakkeel Kavu, Chembilot Kavu, Cheralathu Kavu, Thiruvarkkattu Kavu, Andaloor Kavu, Palot Kavu, Urpazhassi Kavu, Muchilot Kavu, Puthiya Bhagavay Kavu, Cheerbam Kavu, Kurumba Kavu are the main Kavus where theyyams are performed. ©
  15. 15. Man to God Temple or Kavu – Performance area ©
  16. 16. Theyyam Season • Theyyam season begins with end of October and ends in May month next year. During these times, theyyam will be performed in more than 1000 temples / kavus of Kannur and Kasargod districts. Theyyam will be performed as a part of yearly temple festival or as a separate prayer by a family or individuals . There are more than 500 types of theyyams, most of them are closely related each other. ©
  17. 17. Theyyam Calendar • "Travel Kannur presents exclusive theyyam calendar Nov 2013 to May 2014. This calendar is based actual information collected from different temples/kavu authorities. Theyyams are performed in more than 1000 Temples/Kavus in one season. We have selected the best theyyam festival details to include in this calendar. html. Also visit best of theyyam festivals of the season ©
  18. 18. Fire Theyyams • “Theyyams are closely related to fire. There are theyyams which jumps through fire or fall on bon fire . These theyyas are performed mostly at late night or early morning . We need to stay whole night at the theyyam location to experience these theyyam. ©
  19. 19. Travel Tips • "Travel Kannur to experience theyyam" has started with the intention of promoting "theyyam" - the powerful ritual performances prevailing in Northern districts of Kerala. People of these districts consider Theyyam itself as a God and they seek blessing from this Theyyam. We provide an opportunity to the people from other parts of world to come and experience theyyam in its original form. We encourage cultural tourism and takes utmost care to maintain the purity of this great ancient performances which is deeply connected to belief. Theyyam mostly perfomed in the night / wee hours and includes day long complicated rituals. To experience full ritual part of theyyam peroformance, you need to camp in near to Kavus/Tharavadu (temples) in the remote village areas. We shoulder the responsibility of providing healthy travel options to our guests.. Please visit • for travel tips ©
  20. 20. Travel & Stay • There are lots of hotels & home stays available in and around Kannur & Kasargod districts . • Travel Kannur Home Stays • Home stay at Kavvayi Island, Payyanur , Kannur • Viento Homes, Kali, Thalassery • Samudra Luxury Home, , Near Muzhippilangadi Beach • We also provide independent homes fin different parts of Kannur & Kasargod (mostly close to theyyam loccations) • We provide taxi services for our theyyam visitors • Please visit for more information on Accommodation ©
  21. 21. Gallery • Please visit our exclusive theyyam video gallery • • (collection of more than 200 theyyam videos) • Thousands of Theyyam Photos please visit • ©
  22. 22. ©
  23. 23. Ted, Taiwan ©
  24. 24. Vishumurthy Theyyam ©
  25. 25. Rhea, Australia ©
  26. 26. Giorgio, Italy ©
  27. 27. Benoit, France ©
  28. 28. Contact: TRAVEL KANNUR TO EXPERIENCE THEYYAM © 0091 9846469007 / 984790077