Theyyam Book

Theyyam : Indian Folk Ritual Theatre - an Insider's Vision

By K.K. Gopalakrishnan

Category: Anthropology, Forthcoming Books
ISBN: 978-93-89136-98-2
MRP: 6000

Theyyam is a prominent colourful ritual and folk-art tradition of India. Originating in the northern districts of Kerala, a small state in the southwest corner of India, the performers are daily-wage labourers in their everyday life struggling to eke out an existence. Yet when they perform at the estate of their masters, the latter bow before them with folded hands and are reprimanded for their wrongdoings. The alluring facial-body drawings with intricate and subtle nuances and the colourful paraphernalia, including various headgears in different shapes, are endlessly fascinating. The unpolished rhythm of Theyyam enhances its appeal. Concepts such as Mother, Nature, Fertility and Agriculture, Spirit and Ghost, Ancestors, Animal, Reptile and Warrior, among others, are worshipped as Theyyam which refers to both the form and the performance. While men from a few particular communities hereditarily perform, most Theyyams are women worshipped as Mother Goddesses. Any devotee, irrespective of religion or caste, can touch God and directly interact too without the help of intermediaries such as priests.

Renowned art scholar and photographer K.K. Gopalakrishnan has written a comprehensive account about an aesthetically, ritually and theatrically vibrant mainstream artistic practice from the insightful point of view of an insider. He has also captured Theyyam in its myriad facets in a variety of stunning photographs that adorn the pages of this visually resplendent book.

Format: Hardback with dust jacket
Size: 298mm*216mm
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