Oppana

Oppana is a traditional dance form of Kerala performed by Muslim women’s during wedding celebrations in the Malabar region of Kerala, especially in the districts of Kannur, Calicut and Malappuram. It is believed that the word Oppana derives its origin from the word Afna (Arabic).

The songs sung in Oppana dance are called Mappilapattu and are sung firstly by the leader and the remaining women lend the chorus. Mainly Harmonium, Thabala, Ganjira and Elathaalam such musical instruments are employed for this performance. Songs often addressed to the bridegroom regarding their nuptial bliss, these dances and songs are a way to tease the bride and add some more fun and laughter to make the event of wedding special.

Oppana dance is generally performed by females, numbering about fifteen including musicians, but in some households the men also perform the Oppana for the groom’s entertainment. In these cases it is performed before leaving for the bride’s place. It is there that the wedding (Nikkah) is performed. In some cases the men also perform the Oppana as the groom enters the Maniyara (Bridal Chamber).

These days besides wedding celebrations Oppana dance also performed during the stage and reality shows in Kerala as a form of social entertainment.



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