Mari Theyyam

Mari Theyyams are performed every year on the 16th of the Malayalam month Karkidakam (August 30/31). Maritheyyam is performed in Madayi area of Kannur district in Kerala.

‘Maritheyyam’ is a ritual art form being performed by the members of the pulaya community of North Kerala during the festival of ‘Mariyattom’. The Theyyams perform little away from Madayikavu in a ground and then later visit every home with Maritheyyam and conduct Mariyattom and Marippattu (ritual dance and ritual song).

In Maritheyyam performance there will be six figures of gods such as Marikaliyan, Mamayakkaliyan, Marikkalachi, mamayakkalachi, Marikkuliyam and Mamayakkiliyan. Costumes and ornaments made for these figures. On the faces of Kaliyan and Kalichi there will be smearing. Kaliyans wear masks. Musical instruments used for background music are Thuti (small drum) and chengila (gong).

Myth or Story

During the heavy mansoon season (Malayalam month Kerkidakam), the heavy rain, wind, lightning and Thunder make life risky. Fever and communicable diseases along with unemployment and starvation adds up the risk in these months. Mari Theyyams are performed to solve these problems and people believe by performing these Theyyam it can be solved. After visiting all the homes the Mari Theyyam sends all these bad luck to the Sea.

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