Theyyam (Teyyam, Theyam, Theyyattam ) is a popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India, predominant in the Kolathunadu area (consisting of present-day Kasargod, Kannur Districts, Mananthavady Taluk of Wayanad and Vatakara and Koyilandy Taluks of Kozhikode of Kerala) and also in South Canara.
Kannur and its related northern districts of Kerala are known for the Theyyam performances. It is a famous ritual form of worship involving ancient traditions, customs and rituals. Now, the government of Kerala is building up a museum to preserve this divine ancient art form in Kannur.
Reportedly, the foundation laying ceremony of the museum will be organised on February 28, 2019. Precisely, the museum will be established at Chanthappura in Kalyassery area of Kannur.
Theyyam is a ritual art form used in Kerala to retell great stories using art forms. It originated in North Kerala and features dance, music and mime. It glorifies the beliefs of the ancient tribals.
Kasaragod, Karivalloor, Nileswaram, Kurumathoor, Cherukunnu, Ezhom and Kunnathoorpadi in North Malabar are places where Theyyams have performed annually (Kaliyattam) and draw a huge crowd.
The performers of Theyyam belong to the lower caste community and have an important position in Theyyam. The people of these districts consider Theyyam itself as a channel to a God and they thus seek blessings from Theyyam. A similar custom is followed in the Mangalore region of neighbouring Karnataka known as Bhuta Kola.
Theyyam is believed to be distinguished into 400 forms each has its unique style, make-up, costumes, songs, choreography. The most prominent Theyyams are the Pottan, Gulikan, Bhagavati, Kari Chamundi, and Raktha Chamundi. Things worth noticing in Theyyam are the ornamental decorations, their size and appearance.
Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran will put the foundation stone of the museum, and the programme will also comprise drama performances.