As the people of Kerala, celebrate this festival of Onam for a period of 10 days, starting from the first day called Atham, till the last day of the festival called Thiru Onam, the natives of Kerala perform different cultural activities including traditional dances like Kaikottikali and Thumbi and traditional music and songs called Onappattuu. Some of the famous traditional dances are:

  • Kumatti kali:
Also popularly known as the “Mask dance”, artists clad a specially crafted mask made of saprophyte, jack fruit tree, Alstonia Scholaris, Hog Plum tree or the Coral tree. These artists then move to different houses and receive gifts from them. The main attraction being the masks represent Krishna, Narada, Kiratha, Darika or hunters faces. Onavillu is the instrument that is used to play music for this act. People take great interest and are amused with the uniqueness this dance form offers every time.
  • Thumbi Thullal:
While the men in Kerala engage themselves in energetic sports, women on the other hand, participate in Thumbi Thullal.They clad themselves up in the best sarees, jewelery and appearance. The dance form is performed in groups and formations of circle, wherein the lead singer initiates a couplet every time that is followed by the rest.

  • Kaikotti kali:
Also popularly termed as Thiruvathirakali, this dance is very elegant and a form full of poise and grace. Basically a group women dance, sometimes men also participate in it. The dance is dominantly performed in a circular formation. Young girls and kids also participate in this dance. Hussaini, Bhairavi and Kamboji are the popular Ragas Played in this dance.
  • Kathakali:
Literally it means a dance form with encapsulation of drama and stories into it. It is often termed as “A complete theater”. Sahithyam (literature), Sangeetham (music), Chithram (painting), Natyam (acting) and Nritham (dance), constitutes the 5 basic elements of Kathakali. The dance form predominantly makes use of gestures and poses to express different expressions.
  • Pulikali:
The main theme of this dance form is “tiger hunting”, and that’s the area covered by dancers. To depict this theme well artists clad themselves with yellow paints and strips of red and black. This appearance takes lot of time and artists put the entire night in make-up.
ओणम और केरल के नृत्य के बारे में हिंदी में पढ़ें और हर डांस का वीडियो देखें, क्लिक करें

Forthcoming Festivals