Onam and Kaikottikali


Onam is one among the most auspicious festivals celebrated in Kerala. We are going to see here the details of Onam and Kaikottikali. Kaikottikali is also known as Thiruvathirakkali in south Kerala. It is a kind of folk dance performed by maidens of Kerala during Onam season and Thiruvathira. Both young women and old aged women alike participate in this dance performance.

Onam and Kaikottikali


Onam is one among the most auspicious festivals celebrated in Kerala. We are going to see here the details of Onam and Kaikottikali. Kaikottikali is also known as Thiruvathirakkali in south Kerala. It is a kind of folk dance performed by maidens of Kerala during Onam season and Thiruvathira. Both young women and old aged women alike participate in this dance performance.

Lasya or the beauty element is the most dominant theme highlighted in this dance form. Kerala style dress form is the main specialty of this dance performance. Typical dress code of performers is mundu and neriyathu. Neriyathu is generally worn over a blouse to get a typical Kerala style look.

Performers in Kaikottikali


How many performers will be there in traditional Kerala art forms? Generally, eight to ten performers will be there in a typical Kaikottikali dance program. Movement of dance is generally made in perfect Lasya form either in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Bun form of hair drape is a special feature of this dance performance. To enhance the beauty of performer, piece of jasmine garland is also tied up on the hair bun.

As said earlier, dance performers will move in clockwise and in anticlockwise direction by clapping their hands according to the rhythm. A lamp is placed in the center of circle while performing dance. At times, pookalam and nilavilakku are also placed in the center of circle. Traditional Kerala songs are generally used for the performance of kaikottikkali.
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In this dance performance, performers will repeat the lines as chorus to entertain people. Songs used for the performance are taken from the tales of Kathakali. Some of the common songs used for the performance of Kaikottikali are based on episodes of Shakunthalam, Kuchelavritham, Krishna Leela and Dhruvacharithram.

Ragas used in Kaikottikali


Which are the famous ragas used for the performance of Kaikottikali? This is a common query heard from people. Generally, songs of Kaikottikali are taken from ragas like Kamboji, Bhairavi and Hussaini. Apart from the songs taken from puranic stories, you can also find songs taken from Kerala folk tales in this traditional dance forms.

To worship Gods and Goddesses, you can also find here different songs based on the worship of Ganapati, Lord Sri Krishna and Saraswati. During Onam season, Kaikottikali songs are mostly taken from the stories of King Mahabali. As per stories, Mahabali, one among the renowned Asura Kings will bless his prajas (people in his state) during Onam. Hence people are welcoming King Mahabali with all traditional art forms.


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