Culture


Subject:
Intangible heritage

Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
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Language(s): English 

Summary/Historical Context

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Rituals
Popular art
Kerala
Kali
Darika

Mudiyettu is a ritual dance drama from Kerala based on the mythological tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika. It is a community ritual in which the entire village participates. After the summer crops have been harvested, the villagers reach the temple in the early morning on an appointed day. Mudiyettu performers purify themselves through fasting and prayer, then draw a huge image of goddess Kali, called as kalam, on the temple floor with coloured powders, wherein the spirit of the goddess is invoked. This prepares the ground for the lively enactment to follow, in which the divine sage Narada importunes Shiva to contain the demon Darika, who is immune to defeat by mortals. Shiva instead commands that Darika will die at the hand of the goddess Kali. Mudiyettu is performed annually in Bhagavati Kavus, the temples of the goddess, in different villages along the rivers Chalakkudy Puzha, Periyar and Moovattupuzha. Mutual cooperation and collective participation of each caste in the ritual instils and strengthens common identity and mutual bonding in the community. Responsibility for its transmission lies with the elders and senior performers, who engage the younger generation as apprentices during the course of the performance. Mudiyettu serves as an important cultural site for transmission of traditional values, ethics, moral codes and aesthetic norms of the community to the next generation, thereby ensuring its continuity and relevance in present times.


on this subject: Nomination file/ Dossier de candidature (culture.unesco.org)

Place/country: India,
Series: 2010 Inscriptions on the Representative List/Inscriptions 2010 sur la liste représentative,
Type: Documentary
Duration: 00:10:13
Author/director: Chunkath-Meena Paul,
Publisher/producer: IGNCA, Government of India,
Published in: 2009

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