I saw a procession at Alwaye, stopped my car, got out and clicked this 'Theyyam'. Theyyam is a folk religion with deep roots in Northern Kerala, especially North Malabar in Kerala. Very popular in Kasaragod and Kannur districts of Kerala. Theyyam, the oracle is itself a God and people seek blessings from Theyyam. This reflects the respect beyond among different casts, which is the foundation of our culture. There are approximately four hundred types of Theyyam. The word 'theyyam' is a corruption of the word 'daivam' which means 'God' in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala. Theyyam is in practice for more than one thousand five hundred years. Even if the theyyam is performed by people from lower caste, the higher casts also seek blessings from Theyyam.
As a photographer, I adore Theyyams due to the vibrant colours. A visually rich cult with explosive colours in the face and the body painting of the oracle wearing richly coloured fabrics performing to the drums and the religious chants to invoke the deity.
Click here for the theyyam calendar