Theyyam, The Dancing Gods.

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The cult of the Theyyams is exclusive to the north of Kerala, southwest India, and consists of a deity assuming a living form through a ritual performance. The main characteristic of this cult is that the performer is supposed to be transformed into the divinity, it is not merely a representation but a living god or goddess that is present to the believers, and everybody behaves according to that assumption.
The main type of ceremony with the participation of Theyyams is the kaliyattam, a “danced story”, which happens during a festival organized annually in a village or family temple. The performers belong to the lower castes or tribes of the traditional social stratification system.
The documentary follows Rajesh Peruvannan, a Theyyam performer, in the process of transformation into the condition of a living god.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1369
JournalJournal of Anthropological Films
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2018


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