Margam Kali

Margam Kali, it's a counterpart of Thiruvathira Kali played by women belonging to the Christian community. The dancers attired in traditional white mundu (dothi), chatta (Jacket), rich jewellery including Mekkamothiram (an ornamental ring worn by the Christian ladies on the upper lobe of the ear, now considered old fashioned).

The word 'margam' means 'path' and it was meant for the propagation of Christian religious ideas. The theme of the dance has stories related to the life and contributions of St. Thomas. The dancers play in a circle around a lighted oil lamp while singing but there are no musical instruments to accompany the music. While performing, the Margam Kali dancers themselves sing without any accompanying instruments. The only instrument that is used is a pair of very small cymbals, played by tutor in the background, who leads the singing. The language used has shades of Tamil. The songs date back to a period much before the Portuguese invasion. Later many other songs were also added to the original test.

This traditional Kerala art, Margamkali is often presented as a stage item today. It is also included as a competition item at the school and college level.



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