Saturday, July 2, 2022

Arts and Architecture

Ritual Arts


In Kotamuri, the cow is held as the symbol of prosperity of the village. The vegetative cult find its identity with the social context in the form of a ritual in which a young boy is made up as Kotamuri. A protruding wooden cow face is fitted on a frame tucked into the boys waist. A couple or so of jesters wearing masks painted on green sheaths, dance to the rhythm of songs by the accompanying singers. They crack jokes on social themes of immediate relevance. The party visits houses in the village and collects grain and other presents in the name of the cow of prosperity. The following lines from a song on the cow speaks eloquently and succinctly on its beautiful nature.

"Whenever Kotamuri treads  her way,
Grain and money hold their sway". 

The song deals with how the goddess of prosperity, 'Annapurna' came to Kerala from the land of Aryans. She sets out on a journey in a ship with her retinue and reaches 'Cherukunnu' where she is idolised and  consecrated. There are references in the song about different varieties of rich seeds imported to Kerala.