Sunday, February 15, 2009

India *7 what the folk?!

Face paint.

All things I'm in affinity when I had a few days to play with in Kerala before meeting a friend I decided to track down some Theyyam ancient folk tradition specific to this area of Kannur in northern Kerala. The landscape here is lush, and the people seem to have a high standard of living, with an unscrolling view of gated middle class homes tucked into palm trees on bus rides to jungle temples. The performance was like witnessing a childhood favorite Metropolitan Museum of Art ethnographic instillation come to life...The dancers and musicians come from a specific caste and have been practicing for thousands of years embodying snake and other such deities...while the squad of drummers were unleashing some amazing tribal vibrations which you could feel cleaning your energy, I was skeptical at times that there was actual channeling going on, but I caught the mind at work and silenced it will a game ending: "surrender to what is with out judgment." and literally right after that one of the Theyyam dancers came over to me and planted a rice filled blessing on my head with his red it goes...Performances can last up to 24 hours and unfortunately (or fortunately) I was napping during the part where the chicken got its head bitten off...Theyyam season lasts from November to March, with performers traveling from Kavu (like a temple) to Kavu. These are modest spiritual structures compared to the sprawling metropolitan temples of Tamil Nadu, but here the whole community comes out to watch the divine come to life instead of strictly accessing it through stone...