The to the present art traditions prevalent in

The Worship of Mother Goddess
is the most significant ritual tradition of Kerala.  Only a
few have no connection with rituals.3 a great number of the
folk forms have faced extinction over the period.  However, the rituals and the various visual
forms associated with them are still of great reverence to the rural community.  “And among these rituals the most important
are the ceremonies connected with the ‘Mother Goddess worship’.”  4 The general opinion is that the
worship of the Mother Goddess must have come down to the southern
parts of India owing to the Aryan invasions.  The folk ritual heritage of Kerala’s is as
varied and rich as its landscape.’i
there are two spheres in the tradition of the folk performing
arts of Kerala: rituals and performing arts.  Kerala being a land of all castes, communities
and religions even from time immemorial,
gives us a variety of interesting ritualistic dances.2 In Kerala most of
the performing arts are rituals.  In addition
to this aspect, that the
invasions have influenced our customs, rituals, way of life and the
literature in a significant way is a topic of interest with
regard to the present art traditions prevalent in the regions of Kerala.  Place as a
major part of either the religious beliefs or that of sorcery and
magic.  Teyyam, Tira,
Poorakkali, Kotamuriyattam, Pootanum Tirayum,
Kanyarkali, Teeyattu, Padayani, Kalikettu, Kaliyoottu are
some of the
popular religious rituals of Kerala.  These are closely associated with magic Very
often.  They are mostly performed in the
shrines or the temples as part of the annual festival, propitiating the
concerned deities.  However, the most
popular amongst these is the Teyyam, Mudiyettu and Padayani,
representing the regions of north, central and south of Kerala
respectively.  “From primitive times,
dancing has featured prominently in various forms of ritualistic worship.  The dance is in the folk style and the accent
is in effect rather than the fineness of execution.”  5

i Durgadas Mukhyopadhyay Lesser known forms of Performing Arts in India;
Sterling

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