Karakattam dance form of Kerala


  • The Kerala Nattukala Kshema Sabha (KNKS), an outfit that works for the promotion of local art forms in the state, has demanded that Karakattam dance to be recognised as the agricultural art form of Kerala.

About Karakattam dance

  • Also known as Kumbakkali in certain parts.

    Karakattam dance form of Kerala
    Credit: Gosahin
  • Karakattam is a form of folk dance performed at festivals, conferences, roadshows and primarily at Mariamman festivals.
  • It is one of the many creative traditions that owe their existence to Mariamman, the rain goddess.
  • While the dance form is not dying, it has undergone radical change and adaptation in recent years.
  • Karakattam and agriculture have a link. It is because the Mariamman pooja is held in the month of Medam after Makarakkoythu (harvest season) in Kerala, and Mariamman is considered to be the goddess of rain.
  • Although it has links with the rain goddess, the form is about more than just worship—it is also about reversing the caste dominance.
  • Both men and women perform the dance on the muddy ground.
  • Even though Karakattam is mostly famous in Tamil Nadu, it’s performed in different parts of Kerala as well. In Palakkad itself, there are more than 50 people who practice Karakattam.
  • Karakattam performances are characterised by a lot of swaying movements and joyous banter.
  • Other highlights include blowing fire, inserting needles into eyes, and keeping balance while holding a bottle parallel to the ground on the performer’s back.



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