Glossary of Terms

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Theyyam : The word means God, it is a ritual performing art of North Kerala, in which the performer personifies himself as the deity and do performances in trance narrating the story of the deity. This ritual is also known as Thira. Thottam (Folk songs) about the deity is an essential part of the performance. Costuming, facial make etc are colourful but intricate. There are many Theyyam characters like Muchilottu Bhagavathi, Vishnumoorthi, Gulikan, kuttichathan, Kannangattu Bhagavathy etc.
Thappu : Hand drums mainly used in Padayani.
Thattinmel Koothu : Ritual Folk art, enacting the story of Kali & Darikan. The characters move on a Thattu (plat form), which is carried by four/six persons.
Thalappoli : Female devotees with a Thalam (brass or silver plate) in their hands, which contains an oil lamp, holy flowers, raw rice etc, and accompany the procession to honour the deity.
Thidambu : An ornamental stand to carry the idol/image of the deity.
Thidambu Nritham : The ritual dance carrying idol/image of the deity mounted on a Thidambu.
Thira : In north Kerala, Thira is Theyyam. But in Valluvanad (part of Malappuram, Thrissur and Palakkad districts), Thira is just a folk form of Goddess Bhagavathi, do some performances and usually accompany some festival processions like vela, pooram etc.
Tholpavakoothu : The shadow puppetry
Thottam/Thottampattu : Folk songs narrating the story of the deity; Thottam is an essential part in many rituals like Theyyam, Mudiyettu, Padayani, Kalamezhuthu etc. depends on the ritual, different types of musical instruments are used to accompany the songs.