Art and Culture
Kerala's culture is a blend of Aryans and Dravidians.The north Indians are the descendants of Aryans and the south Indians are Dravidians. During 10th century Kerala was part of Tamil heritage region known as Tamilakam and was greatly influenced by the Dravidian culture. The art forms of Kerala can be classified into four groups viz. Classical Art Form, Folk Art Form, Fine Art Form, Temple Music Form.
DEVOTIONAL ART FORMS
Ayyappanpattu, Mohiniyattom- the dance form of Kerala, Arjunanritham, Mudiyettu, Ashtapathiyattom,
Ottamthulla, Bhagavathyppattu, Pallipana, Chathankali, Pana, Chakkyar Koothu, Padakam, Kuthiyottam,
Ramanattom, Kolamthullal, Theeyattu, Koodiyattom – multiple actors, Theyyam, Krishnanattom,
Thidambunritham, Kavadiyattom, Kurathiyattom, Kathakali- the dance-drama of Kerala
Kerala Literature marks its separate identity from 14th century onwards. Poets like Rama Panikkar, Madvava Pankkar, Sankara Panikkar, Kumaran Asan, Vallathol Narayana Menon and Ullor are known famous Malayalam poets who moved Malayalam poetry to lyrical mode. Writers like S.K. Pottakkat, G. Sankara Kurp, O.V. Vijayan, M.T Vasudevan Nair and Arundhati Roy enriched the Malayalam literature.
Kerala music also has ancient roots. Carnatic music dominates Kerala traditional music which was popularised by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma in 19th century. Panchavadyam and Tayambaka are two different forms of percussion instrument presentations wherein a group of artists perform for long hours with out a conductor.
Kerala has a large number of festivals to celebrate through out the year. It include temple, religious rituals, social and community and other traditions.One of the age old tradition and rituals is Onam celebration. It commeorates the visit of 'Mahabali' the erstwhile king to see his desiples. Pulikkali, thiruvathirakali and other songs associated with Oname celebration. The “Vishu" and vishukkai neettam associated with it is another ritual celebrated during April. Elders offer gifts and cash to the younger members of the family and bless them happiness and prosperity through out the year.
By October – November (after the rain) starts the festival season. The festivals ends by the end of April / May by the coming of rain in Mid June. Thrissur Pooram is the famous temple festival where elephants decorated in large numbers assemble with local music (Panchavadhyam and Thayampaka). Pongal (a festival of Tamil Nadu) and Deppavali (festival of lights) is also celebrated in Kerala. Keralities take part and enjpy all festivals irrespective of religion. Kathakali and Mohiniyattom are the traditional form of dances in Kerala.
The Syrian Christians of Kerala have preserved some of the original rituals of the early Jewish Syrian Christians. Likewise, the Muslims also have their own unique customs and traditions which they diligently follow during their religious and wedding festivals. The famous oppana, mapillappattu etc are some of them.