[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Theyyam is a ritual dance form glorifying the goddess. Theyyam (derived from daivam, meaning god), is believed to bless the farmers and their landlords. There are more than 300 theyyams (each one with distinguishing headgear, costume and makeup!!), and each one tells a wonderful story of the old times.
It is essentially a human creation. It has absolute relationship with man in giving vent to his strong feelings against injustice and wickedness and his desire to maintain the well-being of society. It shows how the primitive man transforms his life experience into metaphysical thoughts through rites and rituals and identifies his abstract visions in a concrete design, attributing multiple forms to them.
The headgear or the mask made of materials from nature and painted with natural colours in Teyyam assumes a grotesque and archetypal image with the blending of highly artistic and emotive display. Man willingly offers himself to be subdued by his mystic attainments. It is his own re-creation of the abstract experiences handed down to him by generations, the secular side gives him the rationale based on practice and observations.
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