Kummattikali Dance

Kummattikali also known as Kummatti is a colorful dance wearing masks. It is a ritualistic ceremony to propitiate the Devi where performers wearing masks and adorning garbs made of grass, dry leaves etc go from house to house singing songs and dancing. During the festival of Onam, Kummattikali performers move from house to house collecting small gifts and entertaining people. Kummatti dances are rampant in the Thrissur district during Onam.


Kummattikali (pic: wiki, Aruna)

Kummattikali is prevalent mainly at Wayanad, Trichur and Palakkad districts.Costumes of the dance are very fascinating and intersting . The dancers don a heavily painted colorful wooden mask depicting faces of Krishna, Narada, Kiratha, Darika, or hunters. These masks are usually made out of saprophyte, jack fruit tree, Alstonia scholaris, Hog Plum tree or the Coral tree. Woven Skirts are used by the dancers and some cover their boy with the bunches of grass.

Kummatti dancers are a sight to watch as they move around from house to house collecting jaggery, rice, or small amounts of cash. Onlookers, specially children take great delight in their performance.The themes of Kummattikali are mostly taken from the stories of Ramayana, Darika Vadham, the story of Shiva and folk tales like Manjan Nayare Pattu.

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