Saturday, May 28, 2022

Arts and Architecture

Ritual Arts


This is a more elaborate and dramatic form of ritual dance in which the Kali cult emerges in all its entirety. This is Mudiyettu, the portrayal of the fight between Kali and Darika, ending up with the slaying of Darika. Mudiyettu begins with Kalamazhikkal (wiping out of the floor painting). Mudiyettu literally means the placing of the crown on the head. The moment the person impersonating Kali in the ritual dance drama, wears the headgear, he get possessed and remains possessed all through the night in the battle scenes that  ensue. Kali as well as her rival have their attendants and battalions. On the side of the Kali are the Kalis (her attendant spirits), Koimpidar (a character probably representing the virtuous in society) who sides with all righteous causes. Darika is accompanied by Danava, who joins hands with him in the fight with Kali. There is a vigorous acting in the drama which has no set stage for the enactment. The fight take place at several points in the courtyard around the temple. The facial makeup of Kali shows the boils of small pox, dots of white marks, with rice paste. Kali when made up closely resembles the Kalam drawn on the floor.