To begin with a short introduction, Theyyam is a ritual performed in the temples of north Kerala, in the districts of Kannur and Kasargod. The deity of the temple is believed to occupy the elaborately dressed performer, and speak through him during the performance.
Getting the artist ready for the performance is a long process in itself. People arrive early to see the Theyyam being dressed.
It can take a couple of hours just to get the performer ready.
The last stages of dressing is accompanied with high paced music from the drums. The instrument in the picture is called ‘chanDe’ in Kannada, also used in Yakshagana performances. Anyone knows the Malayalam name?
The complex attire with multiple stages of clothing and ornaments requires help from many assistants.
One of the boys who assists the Theyyam through the performances looks at the artist and smiles after completing the decorations.
In full glory!
Perfecting raudra rasa? The artist looks at himself in the mirror. The kumkum(red powder) added around the lips at the last moment adds to the mood remarkably.
During the performance..