Pulikali

Pulikali 'Tiger Dance' a folk art form of Kerala performed during Onam festival. Literal meaning of Pulikali is the 'play of the tigers' hence the performance revolves around the theme of tiger hunting. Pulikali, also known as Kaduvaakali, is a 200 year old art, carefully preserved by the artists of the state. Groups of three or more dancers with pastes smeared over their body like the stripes on tiger's body, captivate the viewers with their energetic dances. The scenes enacted include the tiger catching a goat, being hunted down and so on. This dance is accompanied by the loud beating of traditional percussion instruments like the udukku, thakil and chenda.

The Pulikali dance performed all over the state but these days mainly practiced in Thrissur (Trichur) and Palghat districts of Kerala. Best place to watch the show is Swaraj Ground at Thrissur on the fourth day of Onam. On this day Pulikali troups from different parts of the district come here for performance.



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